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Politicians’ Assets: Minister Ramo Isak And His Family Possess Property Worth 18 Million BAM

Ramo Isak, the FBiH Minister of Internal Affairs, and his family own two companies and 15 real estate properties in Zenica and Sarajevo. More than half of these properties were acquired in the past six years.

In tandem with his political career advancement, Ramo Isak, the Minister of Internal Affairs of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (FBiH), has seen substantial growth in his assets. Since entering politics in 2006, Isak and his family have acquired at least 10 real estate properties and a company. Additionally, they own four cars and have cash assets, all estimated to be worth more than 18 million BAM.

The property in Lukovo Polje, a suburb of Zenica, where three houses now stand, he inherited from his father in 2008 when he served as a representative in the Assembly of the Zenica-Doboj Canton (ZDK) and a delegate in the House of Peoples of the Federation Parliament. One of these houses is used as the headquarters of Condor, his wife Amela’s Agency for the Physical and Technical Protection of People and Property.

At the end of his parliamentary term in 2010, Isak declared that he and his wife owned land in Bugojno, an apartment, commercial space, BMW and Toyota vehicles, and cash, all valued at 1.3 million BAM.

Twelve years later, the reported assets of the Isak family have increased by 17 million BAM. The inherited property with houses is again valued at 600,000 BAM, and the land at 30,000 BAM. Isak has reported that his wife owns a house, an apartment, two commercial spaces, garages, a warehouse, and land, with a total value of 4.45 million BAM, as well as two companies valued at 10.5 million BAM. He also stated that his sons own three houses and an apartment worth 1.38 million BAM.

“Allah has given me more than I need. I am grateful to Him for that,” Isak said in a previous interview. However, he declined to speak further when contacted by the Center for Investigative Reporting (CIN).

Minister’s Property and Political Prosperity

In the early 2000s, Ramo Isak lost his job in the Ministry of Internal Affairs, PD Zenica-Doboj Canton because he fired three shots from his service pistol at a wedding in front of the then-administrative headquarters of Zenica.

“If I had 15 [bullets] I would have fired all 15,” Isak said in a previous interview with CIN, adding that several years later, he had the opportunity to return to service but didn’t want to because he already “saw himself in the politics.”

He entered politics in 2006 as a member of the Bosnian-Herzegovinian Patriotic Party (Bosanskohercegovačka patriotska stranka – BPS) running for a seat in the Assembly of the Zenica-Doboj Canton. This also allowed him to hold a concurrent position as a delegate in the Parliament of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (FBiH).

Around the same time he decided to pursue politics, his wife Amela co-founded the security agency Condor. The other co-founders were Adnan Fazlić from Sarajevo and Damir and Dragan Čolić from Mostar. They left the company in 2009, and Amela Isak is now the sole owner.

Preparing for the 2012 Local Elections, Isak founded the Party for the People of Bosnia and Herzegovina (Stranka za narod BiH), which entered the Municipal Council of Zenica. He simultaneously ran a private business at his wife’s agency, serving as the Head of the Security Sector. Later, he merged his political party with the Party of Democratic Activity (A-SDA), and as its member, he won another term in the Assembly of ZDK and the House of Peoples of the FBiH in 2018. A-SDA later changed its name to the People’s European Alliance (Narodni evropski savez – NES).

Meanwhile, his sons also entered politics. In 2019, Arnel was appointed Minister of Spatial Planning, Transport and Communications, and Environmental Protection of Zenica-Doboj Canton. In 2022, he won a parliamentary seat in the FBiH Parliament. The other son, Rusmir, was elected to the City Council of Zenica in 2020 and appointed as the director of the Penitentiary Institute in Zenica in 2023.

The three of them receive above-average budget salaries, but the most significant revenue comes from Amela Isak’s Condor Agency. This company has contracts with public institutions and enterprises.

The company reported total revenues of 4.9 million BAM during 2020, 2021, and 2022 and contracted public works totaling around 4.4 million BAM during the same period.

“People stand in front of the cameras and lie, saying “’I don’t have anything” to get the votes. I have [it all],” Isak said in August 2021 to CIN reporters.

In addition to the inherited estate with houses and land, all other real estate owned by the Isak family belongs to the wife and sons. Amela Isak owns a house in the center of Zenica worth one million BAM, two commercial spaces and garages worth 1.45 million BAM, a hall and land in Zenica worth 1.7 million BAM, and an apartment in Novo Sarajevo worth 300,000 BAM. She purchased all these properties from 2019 to 2021, except for a 64-square-meter commercial space in the center of Zenica that she has owned since 2006.

Members of the Isak family also purchased two more properties near the inherited family home. In early 2017, Rusmir bought a house with a yard totaling 200 square meters. In 2019, the other son, Arnel, bought the old house and built a luxurious villa in its place. In addition, Arnel purchased a residential commercial property in Sarajevo in 2017. Rusmir’s house is valued at 250,000 BAM, while Arnel’s villa in Zenica and property in Sarajevo are valued at 1,050,000 BAM. Ramo Isak reported in his Asset declaration report that his third son owns a 40-square-meter apartment worth 80,000 BAM.

In his 2022 Asset declaration, Ramo Isak stated that he owns a Range Rover vehicle worth 50,000 BAM. The family’s vehicle fleet also includes two Audis worth 270,000 BAM and a Mercedes worth 120,000 BAM. In addition, he reported that he and his wife have 200,000 BAM in cash.

In September 2016, Ramo Isak mortgaged the property with houses for a mortgage loan of 700,000 BAM. In his 2022 Asset declaration, he reported that the Condor Agency has a loan debt of 171,952 BAM, which will be paid off in September 2024.

Furthermore, his wife owns IR Company, another company from Zenica, which Isak valued at 500,000 BAM in 2018. This company had a revenue of 165,000 BAM in 2022.

“I am everywhere”, Ramo Isak said at the founding meeting of his new party in Zenica. He founded the political party Power of the People [Snaga naroda] in 2023 when he left the NES.

Legislators On The Other Side Of The Law
Every fourteenth parliamentarian in the highest legislative body of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina is a former convict, and more than half of them are re-offenders.

CIN revealed in September 2021 that Ramo Isak had been convicted twice for assault and threats by the Municipal Court in Zenica. Additionally, a third indictment by the Canton Prosecutor’s Office in Zenica, also for assault, had lapsed due to the statute of limitations.

“I have a valid certificate proving that I have not been convicted”, says Isak, whose convictions were removed from the criminal records in accordance with the Criminal Code – one in August 2016 and the other in September 2019.

However, at the time when he assumed the positions of representative and delegate in 2018, his name was in the criminal records of the Zenica court.

Ramo Isak earned his pre-school education teaching degree in 2010 from the Džemal Bijedić University in Mostar. He later earned a master’s and doctoral degrees from the private Faculty of Management and Business Economics at the University of Travnik.

His asset profile is part of CIN’s database “Politicians’ Assets. This is the most comprehensive database on the income, movable, and immovable assets of more than 220 officials and politicians from both ruling and opposition parties in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The database includes information about their education, professional and political careers, as well as data on savings, loans, and their stakes in companies. It also contains information about lawsuits and court judgments against politicians and officials.

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