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High-level corruption cases in the Western Balkans and Turkey

Arms trading by Krušik - High-level corruption cases in the Western Balkans and Turkey

Arms trading by Krušik

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Introduction

Leaked contracts in 2019 show that the arms export company GIM was buying weapons from Krušik of Valjevo at favourable prices. GIM is affiliated with Branko Stefanović, father of Serbian Interior Minister Nebojša Stefanović. Minister Stefanović has denied the allegations, although his ministry is in charge of providing licences to companies that trade in weapons.

Country
Serbia
Sector
Trade and customs
Offence
Trading in influence
Phase
Prelim. investigation

Description of the case

Leaked contracts in 2019 show that the arms export company GIM was buying weapons from Krušik of Valjevo at favourable prices. GIM is affiliated with Branko Stefanović, father of Serbian Interior Minister Nebojša Stefanović. Minister Stefanović has denied the allegations, although his ministry is in charge of providing licences to companies that trade in weapons.

In 2017, Krušik sold GIM 487,000 mines and 210,000 hand grenades that had a total value of €36.5 million. The mines and hand grenades were then sold to Saudi buyers, accounting for almost 75 per cent of Serbia’s total arms exports of €49 million to Saudi Arabia in 2017. BIRN reports that GIM had a privileged position compared to other competitors in the arms trade because it purchased goods at significantly lower prices.

The owner of GIM Goran Todorović and Branko Stefanović also co-owned a firm called United BG from 2015 to April 2018. During the period, GIM reported improved business results with revenues rising from RSD40 million (€340,000) in 2016 to over RSD1 billion (€8.5 million) in 2017 and almost RSD2 billion (€17 million) in 2018. GIM’s improvement coincides with its engagement of Branko Stefanović.

The State Audit Institution (DRI) in its audit report of Krušik for 2018 confirmed that GIM illegally earned profits totalling €5.3 million in 2017 and €8.6 million in 2018 owing to inflated prices in the sale of weapons.

In November 2019, the Prosecutor's Office for Organised Crime confirmed it was seeking information to verify publicly stated allegations. Prosecutors bypassed the Interior Ministry because of the involvement of the minister’s father in the case. In September 2020, prosecutors received the requested documentation. In March 2021, the prosecutors were analysing extensive documentation on Krušik to reach a decision on the preliminary investigation procedure.

Meanwhile, the documents were disclosed by a whistle-blower Aleksandar Obradović from the Krušik factory.