Sanctions hit Bosnian Serb leader’s corrupt enterprise, US Treasury announces

19 Qershor 2024, 07:58Kosovo & Region TEMA

Sanctions hit Bosnian Serb leader’s corrupt enterprise, US Treasury

June 19, 2024 — The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) has imposed sanctions on a network of two individuals and seven entities connected to Milorad Dodik, President of Republika Srpska (RS), and his family. These sanctions target the financial resources that Dodik and his relatives have allegedly accumulated through corruption and manipulation of government contracts.

The Treasury Department accused Dodik and his son, Igor, of using their political influence to secure state contracts for companies they control. In 2024, the Dodiks reportedly influenced senior government officials in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) to manipulate the state budget, awarding a significant contract to Prointer ITSS d.o.o. Banja Luka Clan Infinity International Group without competitive bidding.

“The United States condemns Dodik’s continued efforts to erode the institutions that have ensured peace and stability for Bosnia and Herzegovina and the region,” said Brian E. Nelson, Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence. “We will continue to expose the fraudulent schemes that enable Dodik and his family to exploit their own people for their personal benefit.”

According to the Treasury, Dodik’s actions not only rob the people of BiH through corruption but also threaten regional stability with his secessionist rhetoric. His recent declaration to propose RS’s disassociation from BiH violates the Dayton Peace Accords, risking further instability and hindering BiH’s Euro-Atlantic aspirations.

The U.S. previously sanctioned Dodik in January 2022 and July 2017 for obstructing the Dayton Peace Accords and engaging in corrupt activities. His children, Igor and Gorica Dodik, also faced sanctions in October 2023 for supporting his corrupt endeavors.

The Treasury outlined how Dodik’s network directs RS government contracts to private companies overseen by Igor. This network includes Infinity International Group, Prointer ITSS, Kaldera Company El PGP, Infinity Media, K-2 Audio Services, Una World Network, and Sirius 2010. Igor Dodik, often operating behind the scenes, manages these companies and ensures they meet their financial obligations.

The Dodik network also restructures corporate ownership to evade sanctions. For instance, after OFAC designated Alternativna Televizija d.o.o. (ATV) in January 2022, ownership was swiftly transferred to Infinity Media and K-2 to obscure the Dodik family's involvement.

Key figures in the network, Djordje Djuric and Milenko Cicic, play significant roles in managing and concealing the financial activities of the Dodik family. Djuric assists Igor in managing offshore accounts, while Cicic, as general director of Kaldera, reports directly to Igor on business matters.

The sanctions block all property and interests of the designated individuals and entities within the United States and prohibit U.S. persons from engaging in transactions with them. Financial institutions and others involved in dealings with the sanctioned parties could face enforcement actions.

 

 

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