BiH: RS Ministry of Interior arrested four persons over the suspicious purchase of the medical equipment

BiH: RS Ministry of Interior arrested four persons over the suspicious purchase of the medical equipment

The director of the Institute for Public Health of the Republic of Srpska, Branislav Zeljković, who has been wanted by the RS Ministry of the Interior since yesterday, was arrested this morning, confirmed the spokesperson of the Republic Public Prosecutor’s Office of the RS, Dragica Tojagić.

Zeljković, along with three other people, is a suspect in the investigation of illegalities in the work of the RS Institute of Public Health in the procedures of public procurement of protective medical equipment. Slavko Bojić, Saša Marković and Dragan Dubravac were previously detained in the action of the Ministry of the Interior, and on the order of the Special Department of the Republic Public Prosecutor’s Office of the RS.

Zeljkovic was not found at work or at his home address yesterday. All detained persons should be brought to the Prosecutor’s Office today, and after the examination, the competent prosecutor will decide on the proposal for ordering detention measures.

The action of the RS Interior Ministry, which is carried out on the order of the Special Department of the Republic Public Prosecutor’s Office, has been going on since Wednesday when three other suspects were detained.

The subjects of the investigation are the contracts concluded by the RS Institute of Public Health during the coronavirus crisis, and the companies Travel4fun and Procontrol are also being investigated.

Media and several NGOs previously reported on public procurement related to the travel agency procuring medical masks. Some of the purchased masks cost over six BAM per piece, which one of the detainees admitted.

“One mask was 6.8 BAM, but I repeat – it is a medical KN 95 mask so that citizens do not think that it is a classic three-layer mask that ranged from one to two BAM. These are masks used by hospital staff,” said Slavko Bojić, owner of Procontrol.

The few cases of corruption in the COVID-19 period are still waiting for the epilogue. The biggest of them is the “Silver Raspberry” case in Federation BiH, about the purchase of respirators worth 10 million BAM, which is not suitable for use on COVID patients. The court trial is ongoing in Sarajevo.