Thursday, 29 August 2019

Executives of Agrokor's Big Suppliers under Probe for Forgery

ZAGREB, August 29, 2019 - The Zagreb County Office of the State Prosecutor on Wednesday filed 13 indictments against a total of 29 suspects for wrongdoings in 13 companies and according to media reports those indictments refer to executives in companies that were large suppliers to Agrokor group and to Agrokor's founder Ivica Todorić.

The indictees who were presumably senior executives in Kraš, Sokol Marić, Tisak, Konzum, Agrofructus, AVT, Nexus and Granolio, are charged with forging official documents.

The local office of the State Prosecutor on Wednesday stated that it had submitted the 13 indictments to a Zagreb municipal court against 29 people responsible for actions in 13 companies.

The media have speculated that wrongdoings concerned forgery in financial bills of exchange.

More news about Agrokor can be found in the Business section.

Wednesday, 10 July 2019

Đakovo Social Welfare Centre Shooter Arrested by Police

ZAGREB, July 10, 2019 - The man, suspected of killing a social worker and wounding a legal adviser in the Đakovo social welfare centre on Tuesday morning, was arrested on Tuesday evening after an extensive police search for him, the local law enforcement authorities said.

The man, who escaped the shooting scene on a bicycle, was on the run for a few hours and the police found him near an entry to the motorway outside the eastern Croatian town of Đakovo in the evening.

Minister of Demography, the Family, Youth and Social Policy Nada Murganić, who arrived in Đakovo on Tuesday afternoon to support the local social welfare centre, described the shooting as dreadful.

The social worker Blaženka Poplašen was killed and the centre's legal adviser, Ivan Pavić, was seriously wounded by the shooter, who is presumed to have mental illness and who has a criminal record. According to information provided by the police, the man opened fire from firearms and killed the social worker and wounded the other employee in the centre and then escaped on a bicycle.

The wounded employee was admitted to the Osijek hospital and according to the latest information he is still in a critical condition.

President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović and Prime Minister Andrej Plenković expressed their condolences to the family of the killed social worker and condemned the shooting in the strongest terms.

The premier said on Tuesday evening that the police were conducting an investigation to establish all the circumstances of the tragic incident.

More Đakovo news can be found in the Lifestyle section.

Thursday, 6 June 2019

Croatia Losing 2.5 Billion Kuna Annually to Counterfeiting, Piracy

ZAGREB, June 6, 2019 - Croatia annually loses 2.5 billion kuna in sales income in key product sectors due to counterfeiting and piracy, and the loss at the EU level amounts to as much as 451 billion kuna, with clothing being the most affected product sector, the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) says.

EUIPO monitored the economic impact of counterfeiting in 11 key product sectors in the EU in the period from 2012 to 2016.

The analysis covered the following product sectors: cosmetics and personal care; clothing, footwear and accessories; sports goods; toys and games; jewellery and watches; handbags and luggage, recorded music; spirits and wine; pharmaceuticals; pesticides; and smartphones.

EUIPO, based in Alicante, Spain, estimates that counterfeiting and piracy cause an annual loss of 2.5 billion kuna in Croatia, which is 10.7% of sales in the 11 product sectors. At the EU level, the sales income loss amounts to as much as 451 billion kuna.

The per capita loss in Croatia is estimated at 600 kuna annually, while at EU level it exceeds 800 kuna.

The job loss caused by counterfeiting and piracy is close to 4,000 in Croatia and up to 468,000 across Europe, EUIPO executive director Christian Archambeau warns.

Apart from analysing counterfeit and piracy products, EUIPO also analysed demand for such products.

Lower prices, availability and a low degree of social stigma related to such activities encourage consumers to buy counterfeit products or illegally access content protected by copyright, shows a report on intellectual property right infringements in 2019.

Croatia's clothing sector is the most affected by counterfeiting, with losses amounting to 928 million kuna annually, followed by the drug industry.

The youngest EU member reports high losses also in the following product sectors: smartphones (340 million kuna), cosmetics (214 million kuna), and spirits and wine (122 million kuna).

Compared with the first analysis, from 2018, the updated analysis shows that at EU level, the losses have dropped in most products sectors, except for clothing, footwear and accessories and cosmetics and personal care.

More news about Croatia and the EU can be found in the Politics section.

Thursday, 28 February 2019

Horror: Father Throws Four Children from the First Floor

ZAGREB, February 28, 2019 - Of the four children, who were thrown from the first floor of their house on the island of Pag by their father, three are severely injured and the fourth child -- a seven-year old girl -- has been hooked to a mechanical ventilator at the intensive care unit of the Zadar Hospital, the girl's doctors told the press, adding that they would consider transporting her to Zagreb once her condition stabilised.

The 54-year-old man early on Thursday morning threw his four children, aged 3,5,7 and 8, from the first floor of their house on the Pag island. Two girls are in the intensive care unit and the other two children are in surgery.

"The condition of the seven-year-old girl is the most severe. She has numerous head and chest injuries so we had to put her on a mechanical ventilator. The child is not yet stable and we are in contact with the Health Ministry," the head of the Intensive Care Unit, Edi Karuc, said.

He said that the girl's eight-year old sister, who is also in the intensive care unit, is conscious and stable.

Demography, Youth and Social Policy Minister Nada Murganić will travel to Pag to get more information on this case of domestic violence.

The minister said that she would hold a news conference once she collected all information.

Early on Thursday morning, the Zadar police reported about this incident which shocked the country. A police investigation is under way.

More news about the children issues can be found in the Lifestyle section.

Thursday, 21 February 2019

New Indictment Issued against ex-Dinamo Boss Zdravko Mamić for Embezzlement

ZAGREB, February 21, 2019 - The Zagreb county office of the Chief State Prosecutor (DORH) on Thursday filed a new indictment before Osijek County Court against Zdravko Mamić on suspicion of having defrauded Dinamo of 16.7 million kuna from 2002 to 2007, when he had performed several executive posts in that Zagreb-based football club.

The DORH office, which released the information about this indictment on its website earlier on Thursday, also recommends the joinder of this case with the ongoing proceedings against Mamić before the Osijek court.

Last June, the same court sentenced the former Dinamo football club boss and advisor to six and a half years in jail for embezzlement of funds from the club. His brother Zoran, former Dinamo director Damir Vrbanović and tax official Milan Pernar were also found guilty of the charges made by the USKOK anti-corruption office.

Mamić et all were found guilty on all counts in the case of siphoning approximately 116 million kuna from the Dinamo club and defrauding the state budget of about 12.2 million kuna in unpaid taxes and surtaxes.

His brother Zoran was sentenced to four years and 11 months, while Pernar was sentenced to four years and two months, and Vrbanović was sentenced to three years.

None of the four accused turned up at that sentence-hearing session in Osijek. Since the non-final verdict was handed down, Mamić has been in Bosnia and Herzegovina, as he has dual citizenship and refuses to come back to Croatia to start serving the sentence.

More news on Zdravko Mamić can be found in the News section.

Monday, 11 February 2019

Attackers on Serbian Water Polo Players Reported for Hate Crimes

ZAGREB, February 11, 2019 - Two men, aged 25 and 23, who this past weekend were involved in an attack on three Serbian water polo players in Split, have been taken into custody and charged with two hate-motivated crimes – attempted infliction of grievous bodily harm and robbery.

The three Serbian players are members of Belgrade's Red Star Water Polo Club who had arrived in Split for a game against the local side Mornar BS, which was scheduled for 8.30pm on Saturday. The match was cancelled because of the incident.

The police said on Monday that their investigation into the incident revealed that the two men, acting in collusion, came to a cafe at Split's waterfront promenade around 1.30pm on Saturday and physically attacked three Serbian athletes sitting on the cafe's terrace.

The motive for the attack, police say, was that one of the Serbian players wore his club jerseys. Demanding that he take them off, the youths started kicking and hitting the Serbian players with clubs.

"The perpetrators called the player names and threatened him, and after he fled and jumped into the sea, they continued to demand, threatening him with a knife, to hand over his jerseys, which he eventually did. The 29-year-old player sustained light injuries in the incident," the police said.

The police spoke to a number of witnesses to the incident and searched the suspects' flats, finding the Serbian water polo player's jerseys with one of the two arrested assailants.

More news on the relations between Serbia and Croatia can be found in the Politics section.

Thursday, 17 January 2019

Croatia Among Countries with Lowest Money Laundering Risk

ZAGREB, January 17, 2019 - Finance Minister Zdravko Marić said Thursday that in the international framework, Croatia's system of preventing money laundering and terrorism has been recognised, which helped Croatia made the list of the top ten countries with the lowest money laundering risk.

According to a report by the Basel-based International Centre for Asset Recovery (ICAR) from October 2018, Croatia recorded additional progress and of the 129 countries covered, it made the list of the top ten countries with the lowest money laundering and terrorism financing risk, the minister said in parliament.

All relevant institutions – the Council of Europe, the United Nations, the European Union, the International Monetary Foundation and the World Bank – have said that Croatia's model and its prevention system were contemporary and in most parts adjusted with international standards, Marić said, presenting the bill under which true owners of companies in Croatia would enter the enterprise register, which will be available to the public.

The opposition's Social Democratic Party and MOST party commended the initiative to set up the enterprise register, urging the government to take a step further and remove administrative obstacles to make register browsing easier.

"Let's take this step forward and show that Croatia is truly a democratic country based on the rule of law... Let's enable real access to the register," Peđa Grbin of the SDP said.

More news on the Finance Ministry can be found in the Politics section.

Monday, 7 January 2019

High-Ranking Ministry Official Arrested for Sexual Harassment

A high-ranking official from the Ministry of Maritime Affairs, Transport and Infrastructure has been arrested for sexual harassment committed at work. According to unofficial information, the person in question was until recently the head of one of the departments in the ministry. On December 20, he allegedly assaulted a low-ranking employee of the Ministry and began to touch her inappropriately, reports Jutarnji List on January 7, 2019.

The shocked woman quickly informed the Zagreb police department, who arrested him and charged him with intimidating behaviour, threats and sexual harassment. Police officers allegedly came to pick him up at the ministry building and took him to a police station for questioning.

“We can only confirm that, on 20 December, one male person with the described allegations was taken to the detention centre,” said the Zagreb Police Administration. The suspect was later questioned at the Municipal State Attorney's Office.

When asked about the event, the Ministry of Maritime Affairs, Transport and Infrastructure issued the following reply: “According to the information we have, one of the heads of services of the Ministry of Maritime Affairs, Transport and Infrastructure was taken to remand prison. As a result of the information we have received, we have sent to the Municipal State Attorney's Office a request for their statement, a question whether an investigation procedure has been launched against a civil servant so that we can proceed further in accordance with the Civil Servants Act and initiate appropriate procedures. Due to the personal data protection rules, we are not able to provide more detailed information except that the person has been an employee of the Ministry for the past 9-10 years.”

The abuser is expected to be removed from his duties if it is determined that he has actually committed what is being alleged.

It is interesting that the Official Code of Civil Servants, issued by the government on March 25, 2011, is highlighted prominently on the official webpage of the Ministry, stating: “Civil servants have the right to be protected against sexual harassment or behaviour that represents verbal, nonverbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature, which is intended to be a violation of the dignity of officials and employees and cause fear, hostility, humiliation or offence.”

The crime in question can be punished with up to one year in prison.

More news on the ministry can be found in our Politics section.

Translated from Jutarnji List (reported by Krešimir Žabec, Marin Dešković, Dijana Puhalo).

Friday, 4 January 2019

Fake US Soldiers Use Facebook to Steal from Women in Croatia

In the last six months, the Bjelovar-Bilogora Police Administration has reported two cases of fraud against women in Croatia, aged about 60, by unknown perpetrators, by using false Facebook profiles, representing themselves as US soldiers serving somewhere in the world, reports on January 4, 2019.

In both cases, the perpetrators started communication with the women, sending them pictures of themselves in military uniforms, claiming they had a large amount of money to share. In both cases, they said they had a large amount of money they did not have anywhere to keep and said they wanted to send the money somewhere to avoid paying the tax. They suggested to the women they would send them a large amount of cash in packages.

In both cases, the unidentified perpetrators mislead the women by stating they were required to pay a certain amount of money so that the packages could be sent at all. They provided bank accounts to which they paid the money.

After paying the initial amount, the first woman refused to continue with the payments, although the perpetrator said that she ought to pay more money because he was allegedly robbed and could not pay what was needed.

The second woman received a message that the customs in London had confiscated the package and that she had to pay more, which she did. After that, she had more messages asking her to make additional payments. After she refused, the unknown perpetrator blocked her on Facebook.

The first woman paid about 8,000 kuna, while the other paid as much as 180,000 kuna.

Both cases involved elderly retired women living alone, and in both cases, the perpetrators promised women they would come to visit them in Croatia.

Elderly citizens should be warned that in both cases the profiles were fake. They are easy to be created since American soldiers' pictures are readily available on the Internet.

The criminal investigation of both criminal offenses is still ongoing.

More news about crime in Croatia can be found in our Lifestyle section.

Translated from

Thursday, 20 December 2018

Register of Real Business Owners to Prevent Money Laundering

ZAGREB, December 20, 2018 - The register of real business owners in Croatia will be available to the public, as envisaged by draft amendments to legislation on the prevention of money laundering and terrorism financing, proposed by the government on Thursday and sent into parliamentary fast-track procedure.

The amendments are supposed to align the national legislation on this matter to European Union rules.

Presenting the changes, Finance Minister Zdravko Marić said that the Croatian legislation was now introducing new definitions and persons subject to this law.

Thus, the legislation provides for definitions of virtual currencies, virtual property and providers of custodial financial services.

The second important matter is the register of real owners, according to Marić. For the purpose of ensuring transparency regarding real ownership and controlling structures in companies, data about physical persons that are the real owners of legal entities will be made available to the public.

All that will be regulated by a rule book that is supposed to be adopted by the end of 2019, Marić said.

The register is to contain data about real owners of companies, associations, foundations, and institutions not founded by Croatia.

The law on the prevention of money laundering and terrorism financing was passed in 2017.

The register will be managed by the Financial Agency (FINA).

The amended legislation also specifies exceptions, when data on real owners will not be available to public, such as when publication of such data can pose a threat to the security of the owner in question, which means that they may be victims of fraud, extortion, and other criminal offences.

The term “real owners” means the natural person or persons in the ultimate link of owners who, directly or indirectly, own or exercise control of the legal entity in question.

More news on doing business in Croatia can be found in the Business section.

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