Srebrenica – money laundering heaven

Srebrenica – money laundering heaven

The Deputy of the Srebrenica municipal Assembly Speaker Radomir Pavlovic stated that in the past several years, the Party of Democratic Action (SDA) in collusion with the former mayors “laundered” around BAM 20 million (€ 10 million).

Pavlovic calls on the competent authorities to investigate and identify the people who abused office and took part in the “money laundering”. As he said, it is necessary to do it, in order to prosecute the perpetrators.

“Under the pretext of helping the returnees and creating new jobs in this town, funds from the Federation of BiH were used a few years ago to build a hotel which has never been opened, facilities in the Guber Spa which have never been used, and a potato processing plant, but no job post has ever been created”, Pavlovic told the media in Srebrenica.

He stressed that the municipal authorities had given approvals and had assigned locations for those constructions which now bring no profit. Pavlović explained that the potato plant “Srebrenicanka”, which cost BAM 8 million (€ 4 million) to build, deceived the local farmers with whom it signed potato production and sales contracts, that were never realised.

These embezzlement cases with donations reated immense problems to seven producers who did not have buyers for 50 tonnes of cultivated potatoes.

Srebrenica Mayor, Mladen Grujicic, is trying to help them to find buyers. If this brings no result, then he will seek a way for the municipality to buy part of the crop for socially distressed families.

Pavlovic, the leader of the local Alliance of Independent Social Democrats (SNSD) said that the current mayor and local administration have good cooperation and are implementing a number of projects.

“That’s why they enjoy the full trust of the Municipal Assembly, which was confirmed at the last session when 20 out of 21 councillors voted in favour of the revised budget”, said Pavlovic.

His accusations for money laundering are low in the list of similar accusations from many officials on a state and entity levels. A few years ago, the BiH Parliament established a Commission to investigate the spending of the donations which got to BiH after war. The Commission’s first problem was to determine how much was this money in total; an amount which was donated by donor countries, the embassies of which refused to cooperate and say how much money these countries had donated. Also, many there were many NGOs that provided donations for certain categories of citizens, but the documents regarding them remain closed and nobody knows where they are exactly. The other problem was the prevention of Bosniak representatives from clarifying what had happened, with the most members of the Commission believing that, anyway, the representatives did not intend to clarify the issue.

Despite the problems, the Commission calculated that the value of donations to BiH, from the end of the war up until the end of last year was about € 10 billion with at least one billion of it ending in Srebrenica for reconstruction and development.

Former Commission Chairman, Tihomir Gligoric, at the time said that most of the donations came from Arab countries, the U.S.A. and some European states but that 98 of them were invested in the Federation of BiH. Of them all, only a small amount reached cities in the Republic of Srpska, apart from Srebrenica where most donations were given.

“A large amount of money was donated to Srebrenica but it just disappeared and citizens did not enjoy any  benefits”, stated Gligoric to media, at the end of 2016…/IBNA