Group Evaded at least 3.5 million KM in Taxes

An organized crime group is accused of evading at least 3.5 million KM in taxes in the first half of this year.
Photo: SIPA

The State Investigation and Protection Agency (SIPA) has arrested seven members of an organized crime group that evaded at least 3.5 million KM in taxes. They are suspected of several years’ worth of customs and tax fraud. The arrests were carried out as a part of a police action called “Boss” in the area of Sarajevo, Brčko, Gradačac, Banja Luke, Trnovo and Doboj-Jug. Searches are to eventually be carried out in several other locations.

The SIPA statement says the group will be handed over to the Bosnia and Herzegovina Prosecutor’s Office which ordered the investigation.

Police searched several dozen apartments, businesses and shops, including those of the firms Eko San, Janus, Sa Tours and Bosna Ekspres, as well as movable and real property the suspects used. The Center for Investigative Reporting in Sarajevo (CIN) learned that the searched firms mainly deal in public transportation and textile sales.. During the search police temporarily seized items of evidence. In one vault they found about 100,000 KM plus financial and business documents, cell phones, telephone cards, fire arms, and computers.

Around 100,000 KM found in vault.
Photo: SIPA

Yesterday’s police searched 23 places and so far today it has searched 11 more locations.

CIN wrote earlier that some BiH auto transport companies have been used to bring drugs out of Turkey to the Balkans and further into Western Europe.

Kasim Sadiković, owner of Sa Tours Company which specializes in shopping tours to Turkey, tipped the Istanbul police in 2004 that smugglers were trying to hide drugs in his truck bound for Sarajevo. Turkish police found 13 kilograms of heroin in cargo ready to be loaded. Sarajevo police were tipped in 2008 as well that drugs were hidden in a company truck. Sarajevo Canton drug officials reported that they found nothing.

According to media reports, Anes Sadiković, a Tuzla textile trader, was arrested in this operation. However, the officials from the BiH Prosecutor’s Office neither confirmed nor denied this information.

Along with SIPA officers, Boss involved officers from the Central Bosnia, Tuzla and Sarajevo canton’s ministries of internal affairs, Brčko District police, the Indirect Taxation Authority and Border police.

Published September 13, 2012

Readers’ support helps CIN reveal corruption and organized crime.
Your donation supports investigative journalism as a public good.