Money Laundering in Meat Industry

Wednesday July 3rd, 2013
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SIPA officers confiscate documents from companies connected with Lijanovići LLC.

Jerko Ivankovic Lijanovic

(Photo: CIN)

By the Center for Investigative Reporting

Officers of the State Investigation and Protection Agency (SIPA) launched an operation code named Meat prompted by allegations of money laundering in that business. SIPA has confirmed that its officers have confiscated financial documentation from several legal entities and individuals at the request of the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) and the state Prosecutor’s Office.

The operation stems from a Report Based on Allegations that several companies and individuals have been evading taxes which damaged the budget by several million KM, as CIN reported earlier.

Indirect Taxation Authority sent a report to the State Prosecutor’s Office at the end of March alleging that the companies Mostar-based MI-MO, Široki Brijeg-based Mesna Industrija Farmer, Farmko and Z.D.I. Produkt and Posušje-based Laktat avoided paying several million KM in value added tax.

Those firms are connected with a Široki Brijeg-based Lijanovići LLC, whose co-owner Jerko Ivanković-Lijanović, is the president of Narodna Stranka Radom za Boljitak and a vice-prime minister of the Federation of BiH.

Tax inspectors have connected these five firms with the Lijanović company based on the contracts Lijanović  signed with them for renting buildings, equipment for production, meat processing and licensing.

The inspectors suspect that Lijanović LLC incorporated several firms which were pro-forma registered as owner, that is use certain real and moveable property. After one of the companies incurred a tax debt, it would close. As those companies did not have their own property, the tax authority was unable to collect on the debt it was owed.

Tax and police inspectors are carrying out the operation.

Published on July 3, 2013

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