ISSN 2330-717X

Serbian Police Arrest Miroslav Miskovic

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By Bojana Barlovac

Serbian police have detained Miroslav Miskovic, his son Marko and eight other persons on suspicion of corruption.

Serbian police on Wednesday arrested the owner of Delta Holding, Miroslav Miskovic, and nine other persons on suspicion of abuses during privatization of road construction and maintenance companies.

Serbia
Serbia

The suspects include his son, Marko, the owner of Mera Investment Fund, and Marko Djuraskovic, the owner of the road building company Nibens Group.

Miroslav and Marko Miskovic and Djuraskovic are suspected of having illegally obtained more that 30 million euro, the Serbian public service broadcaster RTS reported.

The group will be remanded in custody for 48 hours and taken to the Prosecutors Office for Organized Crime.

Serbia’s new government has pledged to root out corruption, which is often cited in EU reports as one of the biggest problems in the Balkan country.

Aleksandar Vucic, Deputy Prime Minister in charge of corruption and the leader of the ruling Serbian Progressive Party, said that the group was arrested in relation to 24 cases of privatizations in Serbia, earlier flagged by the EU as problematic.

“Two things have been proven in Serbia – that nobody is protected and untouchable and that the state is stronger than any individual,” Vucic said on Wednesday afternoon.

The Delta Holding owner was first questioned by the police on December 3. Djuraskovic was questioned on the same day.

Marko Miskovic was questioned on Friday about his companies’ cooperation with Nibens Group.

On November 13, Vucic forced Miskovic to admit that he was a co-owner of the daily newspaper, Press. Two days later, Miskovic withdrew from its ownership and the newspaper ceased print editions.

Born on July 5, 1945, Miskovic grew up in the central Serbian town of Krusevac and graduated from Belgrade University’s Faculty of Economy in 1971.

He briefly entered politics in 1990 as Serbian deputy PM under the late Serbian strongman Slobodan Milosevic but left the post after less than six months and started Delta M company which became very successful in the following years.

In 2007, Forbes Magazine named Miskovic as the richest man in Serbia, with a fortune estimated at about €1 billion.

Delta Holding, which includes land, a major stake in the Port of Belgrade, shopping centers and automobile dealerships, employs thousands of people, making it the largest non-government employer in the country.

The company works in Bulgaria, Bosnia, Macedonia and Cyprus.

Investigations into Delta and allegations of monopolies controlled by Miskovic have dominated the country in the past decade, but no action has been taken.

Besides Miskovic, the target of the fight against corruption has also included few heads of public companies in Serbia and three former ministers.



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Balkan Insight

Balkan Insight

The Balkan Insight (fornerkt the Balkin Investigative Reporting Network, BIRN) is a close group of editors and trainers that enables journalists in the region to produce in-depth analytical and investigative journalism on complex political, economic and social themes. BIRN emerged from the Balkan programme of the Institute for War & Peace Reporting, IWPR, in 2005. The original IWPR Balkans team was mandated to localise that programme and make it sustainable, in light of changing realities in the region and the maturity of the IWPR intervention. Since then, its work in publishing, media training and public debate activities has become synonymous with quality, reliability and impartiality. A fully-independent and local network, it is now developing as an efficient and self-sustainable regional institution to enhance the capacity for journalism that pushes for public debate on European-oriented political and economic reform.

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