EFT linked to Serbian charges

Police charge former energy officials with misuse of office

According to the Serbian Ministry of Interior (MUP), the officials allegedly signed harmful contracts from 2001 to 2004 between EPS and Energy Financing Team (EFT) and Interface. London-based EFT is owned by Hamović and Interface, which is registered in the Caribbean, by EFT board member James Nye. The contracts gave the companies illegal profits of about 20.7 million KM and cost the Serbian government 3.6 million KM in lost revenues, according to police.

The officials were identified as former director Ljubomir Gerić, former director of Directorate for Electrical System Management Vladimir Marjanović, former chief dispatcher Dragan Vignjević and former director of Directorate for Trade and Foreign Monetary Business Exchange Danica Vuković. Police said there is a reasonable suspicion that they misused their office.

EFT spokesperson Nenad Savić denied the charges saying they were political and the transactions were beneficial because, for instance, they ‘provided heating for Novi Sad, which would otherwise be jeopardized, and of course, they were profitable for EFT.’

In March of last year, CIN published an article about the business activities of EFT in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), Serbia and Montenegro. Center for Investigative Reporting in Sarajevo (CIN) found that police and investigators in BiH and Serbia, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) in the UK had looked at contracts between EFT and Elektropriveda Republika Srpska, EPS and Elektropriveda Montenegro. EFT and Hamović have not been indicted and the Bosnian investigation was stopped, although the SFO investigation is ongoing.

EFT is one of the largest electric energy traders in Southeastern Europe. Last year, they got a temporary license for international electricity trade in BiH. The license will expire in the middle of next year.