Belgrade, 9 Aug. (AKI) – In crackdown on organized crime, Serbian police arrested eight people for defrauding a bank of some 300 million euros, local media reported.
Among the arrested was Dusan Antonic, former director of the Belgrade Agrobanka bank and seven of his aides. But special prosecutor for organized crime Miljko Radisavljevic said it was “just the beginning” and more arrests would follow.
Antonic was arrested at border crossing with Bosnia Wednesday evening trying to escape. Only a day before he told Belgrade television he had nothing to fear and would cooperate with investigators.
He and the bank management were suspected of giving loans to companies owned by their relatives with inadequate collateral, causing losing 300 million euros.
Police minister Aleksandar Vucic told reporters it was a well organized network with links to politicians and powerful tycoons, but he vowed no one would be spared regardless of political connections.
A new government has promised to combat widespread corruption and organized crime.
“This operation is much more important than it looks at first glance,” Vucic said. “Pandoras box has just been opened and there will be names of many well-known people involved,” he added.
The central bank revoked Agrobanka’s license in May after discovering irregularities, but new finance minister Mladjan Dinkic told media it was unthinkable that the bank reacted only after the election.
“It is impossible that they didn’t know earlier what was going on,” Dinkic said, calling for a thorough investigation.