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Zoran Čegar Suspected Of Forging Real Estate Purchase Contract

Zoran Čegar, the suspended head of the FBiH Police Administration, is suspected of forging a real estate purchase contract in Nišići, in the Municipality of Ilijaš. The investigation against Čegar was opened after the writing of the CIN.
Search of Zoran Čegar’s house in Novo Sarajevo (Photo: Dženat Dreković / CIN)

Zoran Čegar, the suspended head of the Uniformed Police Sector of the FBiH Police Administration (FUP), is suspected of forging a real estate purchase contract in Nišići, in the Municipality of Ilijaš.  According to the Sarajevo Canton Prosecutor’s Office, the investigation against Čegar was opened following revelations by journalists from the Center for Investigative Reporting (CIN).

At the prosecutor’s order, the cantonal police today began searches of Čegar’s properties in Nišići, his house in Novo Sarajevo, and his private car, said Azra Bavčić, spokesperson for the Cantonal Prosecutor’s Office.

Journalists discovered that during his service over the past twenty years, Čegar acquired several houses, apartments, and land properties in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) and Croatia. He also had in possession many cars, boats, motorcycles, and snowmobiles.  He often traded without money, bartering his property for other people’s real estate and vehicles. His partners colloquially refer to these as “trange-frange” deals and some of them have complained that this police official blackmailed or deceived them too.

The Double Life Of Officer Čegar
The head of the FBiH Uniformed Police, Zoran Čegar, was accused of fraud in Croatia. Part of his property in Bosnia and Herzegovina was acquired illegally. CIN reveals that based on a falsified documents he took possession of other people's real estate.

Some of the properties Čegar acquired using fictitious contracts and forged documents.  Among other things, he registered one of the most attractive estates in the area — the property of the once-successful Sarajevo company Volving, owned by Mehmedalija Žmirić — based on a forged notarized contract from Serbia.

Žmirić had built two houses and a stable on the estate, created an artificial lake, and planned to develop a villa complex for embassies. However, the mighty Volving found itself in serious trouble in 2011. As Žmirić’s empire was falling apart, Čegar recognized the opportunity for a cheap purchase. The owner of Volving claims that Čegar approached him with indirect threats.

“It was an armed purchase”, says Žmirić, recalling how Čegar “warned” him that someone might put something on his property and that he had heard rumors about him growing marijuana.

“While I’m here, you shouldn’t worry, I’m the fourth man in the country, don’t you worry”, Žmirić recalls Čegar’s words.

Initially, they agreed that Žmirić would sell only a smaller house for BAM 150 thousand, but Čegar then asked for a larger one along with a horse stable.

Despite the properties being worth significantly more, Žmirić eventually agreed to sell both houses for BAM 250,000 after negotiations, due to his urgent need for money. They made the deal, but have not signed the contract. Žmirić claimed that Čegar paid him only BAM 50,000.

Journalists found in court documents that in April 2019, Zoran Čegar tried to register this land in his name, presenting a sales contract that he allegedly signed a year earlier with Radoje Ćetković, the former owner of the land. The document was signed and stamped by a public notary Gorica Milenković from Loznica in Serbia.

However, the court declined his request because it found that the owners are neither Ćetković nor Čegar, but Žmirić’s Volving. In addition, the presented contract being processed before a foreign notary was also unacceptable to the court.

The things that caught the eye of Sarajevo court officials went unnoticed by Cadastre officials in Ilijaš Municipality, where Čegar registered as a possessor, presenting the same contract.

CIN journalists sent a copy of this document and accompanying documentation to the notary office of Gorica Milenković in Loznica, and they forwarded them to the Public Notaries Chamber of Serbia for comment. Chamber spokeswoman Gordana Lazarević says that the documents were not drawn up in any public notary office in Serbia. At the time indicated on one of the documents, notaries did not even exist in this country.

According to her, the appearance of the seal, the language and the script of the document in which the word “ured” is used instead of “kancelarija”, and the letter being written in Latin, which is not in official use in Loznica are also arguable.

From the Chamber, they concluded that it is “a blatant forgery”.

The police are searching a large property in Nišići that Zoran Čegar acquired based on a falsified notary contract (Photo: Dženat Dreković / CIN)

Threats by Zoran Čegar to CIN journalists

In late October 2022, displeased with the article CIN published about his property, Čegar threatened CIN journalists in front of the Municipal Court building in Dubrovnik

CIN journalists asked Čegar for a comment in front of the Court building. He reacted violently, attacking the journalist: “Don’t make me rip your throat out!”

This was not the first time for Officer Čegar to threaten CIN journalists. During the investigation, in a short telephone conversation, he refused to speak, using threats and curses. Alluding to his position, he said that “various people kept him informed” about journalists’ whereabouts and work.”

“I know everything, I’m not running a tobacco shop!”.

Condemnation Of Threats Addressed To CIN Reporters and Reports Against Zoran Čegar
Many domestic and international organizations sought a reaction from the domestic authorities regarding the threats and insults Zoran Čegar, one of the heads of the FBiH Police Administration, directed at CIN reporters. The authorities were called to protect journalists from attacks. The threats were reported to the police and the prosecutor’s office.

CIN journalists discovered that Čegar, in real estate transactions with other sellers, also used other questionable property ownership documents.  In 2015, this police official acquired a business space of 110 square meters in the ski resort in Vlašić. He agreed to pool the funds with investor Nermin Šabanija from Sarajevo to construct the building, be he never registered ownership in his name.

Šabanija told CIN journalists that he had actually concluded a fictitious contract with Čegar and that he himself was only a nominal owner of the property.

He tried to use this property in the exchange of goods when buying a villa in Barice above Sarajevo in 2018, but the sellers doubted the authenticity of the documents. The owners of this half a million marks worth property were Sarajevo dentist Zlatan Radovanović and Čegar’s partner in the car trade, Kenan Krasnić Klanfa.

They too accused Čegar of occupying their property based on a questionable notarial agreement, and not paying the agreed price. Mid-last year, the Municipal Court in Sarajevo rendered a first-instance judgment nullifying the documents that this police official used to register as the owner of the estate in Barice.

Disciplinary Proceedings Against Zoran Čegar In The Shadow of Criminal Investigations
Due to the criminal proceedings being conducted in BiH and Croatia against police chief Zoran Čegar for threats to reporters, the disciplinary proceedings initiated against him by the FUP for the same matter has been suspended.

Čegar is also on trial in Dubrovnik on charges of defrauding Darko Marković, the owner of Prožura, a yacht and car rental agency from the island of Mljet. According to the indictment of the Dubrovnik Public Attorney, in mid-2017, Čegar asked Marković to sell him an E-class Mercedes and a rubber boat, both property of the company. Čegar told him that he would pay him when he sold the land in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), although he knew that he was not the owner but only the possessor of the land. He promised to reward Marković if his name did not appear in the contract. He wanted to cover up this trade, claiming that he, as a high-ranking police officer, did not want to be associated with this business transaction.

Marković believed him and, along with a power of attorney, he handed over the vessel and the car that Čegar later sold. Instead of paying 20,000 euros, Čegar asked to buy another vessel for 40,000 euros, offering Marković in return a share of land in BiH, but Marković refused and asked for the money for the boat and car that he handed over.

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