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Kemal Čaušević Acquitted Of Money Laundering But Will Lose BAM 1.72 Million In Proceeds of Crime To Be Confiscated From Him

While acquitted of charges of money laundering, the first instance conviction against Kemal Čaušević, the former director of the Indirect Taxation Authority (ITA) for receiving a gift was upheld, for which he was sentenced to five and a half years in prison. The proceeds of BAM 1.7 million shall be confiscated from Čaušević.

The Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) acquitted Kemal Čaušević, the former director of the BiH Indirect Taxation Authority (ITA BiH), of money laundering charges.

At the same time, the court upheld the first-instance conviction for receiving a gift and a prison sentence of five and a half years. The court panel of the Court of BiH also ordered that the proceeds of BAM 1.72 million, which were found to be connected with receiving a gift, be confiscated.

After the verdict, Čaušević claimed he was “unfairly convicted for receiving a gift”.

“The appeal was filed with the Constitutional Court. I hope that the Constitutional Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina will start doing its work, so we will see what happens,” said Čaušević.

In 2013, the Center for Investigative Journalism (CIN) revealed that Čaušević in the seven year-term as the director of ITA BiH bought real estate worth BAM 1.08 million. From 2006 to 2012, he purchased five apartments, four business premises, and 20,000 square meters of land in attractive locations in Sarajevo.

As reporters found, he had not been taking any loans to purchase the real estate, but instead, he paid for them in cash or via bank transfers. Also, he could not have financed the purchase of these properties from his income which totaled BAM 576,000. A few days after the story’s release, the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina blocked his property.

The Former Head of UIO BiH Owns a Million in Assets
During the seven years he was at the top of Indirect Taxation Authority, Kemal Čaušević bought nine apartments and offices plus 20,000 square meters of land. His income during that time does not come close to the cost of the investment, but he told reports that he’s been making money since 1986.

Čaušević was arrested in 2014 in the police operation code-named Pandora. In addition to him, 53 other people were arrested at that time, including employees of the ITA BiH and customs terminals. In 2017, the Prosecutor’s Office of BiH filed an indictment against Čaušević, charging him with money laundering, accepting bribes, and abuse of power. He was accused of facilitating a privileged status for the textile importing companies in return for which he received BAM 1.72 million.

After a long process, in May 2021, Čaušević was convicted and sentenced to a single sentence of nine years – for money laundering and for receiving a gift. The verdict also ordered that his illegally acquired real estate and money be confiscated, while he was acquitted of abuse of office charges.

In October 2022, the Appellate panel increased the initial sentence for receiving a gift from four (4) to five and a half (4.5) years in prison.  Under the same verdict, he was acquitted of money laundering charges, and the appeal of his family concerning the asset seizure was upheld.  The court then ordered a new hearing before the Appellate Court for a final decision.

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