Authorities arrest director of Bosnian pharmaceutical company for money laundering

The head of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s largest pharmaceutical company has appeared before the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina for laundering more than $ 4.6 million, the Sarajevo Oslobođenje daily reported Thursday.

Nedim Uzunović, director of the Bosnalijek company, the largest producer of medicines in Bosnia and Herzegovina, based in Sarajevo. (Photo: Bosnalijek)Nedim Uzunović, the director of Bosnalijek, was charged on December 8 with money laundering and abuse of power.

Enisa Adrović, acting prosecutor in the Bosnalijek case, told the court that Uzunović organized two criminal groups to launder more than 4.6 million US dollars and commit other financial crimes. She said the lengthy investigation also involved 30 other suspects.

Adrović said the first criminal group concealed property illegally acquired by Uzunović and members of his family during a time when he was director of the Moscow office in Bosnalijek.

The money was transferred by several offshore companies before it was channeled to Uzunović’s private account, she said. The money was then transferred to his father, wife, sister and stepfather to purchase property and real estate, according to the indictment.

In order to conceal the origin of the money, Adrović said, Uzunović transferred the money through online banking.

Further, investigators say Uzunović owns a company in Seychelles, which provided consultancy services to Bosnalijek, although it was not registered for this purpose.

The second criminal group worked on the illegal privatization of Bosnalijek by having its shares bought by directors of foreign companies, according to the investigator.

Members of Uzunović’s family were arrested and questioned during the investigation. The court ordered Uzunović himself to remain in detention, after prosecutors said they feared he would try to escape or obstruct the investigation. They also demanded that his multi-million dollar assets suspected of having been obtained by the crime be frozen.

Bosnalijek officials say his incarceration causes the company a loss of around $ 800,000 because he refused to sign documents authorizing deliveries to Russia.