Pharma company director under arrest for corruption

BELGRADE -- The police have placed Dobrica Živković, director of the Nini Farmacija (pharmaceuticals) company under arrest this morning, RTS is reporting.

(B92)
(B92)

The operation carried out by the Criminal Investigations Police (UKP) is part of the Jugoremedija case.

Živković is suspected of making it possible for Jugoremedija's former director Jovica Stefanović Nini to illegally appropriate EUR 4.5 million and about USD 450,000.

The police suspect that Stefanović then used this money to carry out an added capitalization of Jugoremedija, which turned him from minority to majority owner of the Zrenjanin-based drugmaker.

Stefanović was placed under arrest last year on charges of abuse of office, that enabled him to illegally gain EUR 7.5mn at the expense of the company.

The privatizations of two pharmaceutical companies - Jugoremedija and Srbolek - are among the 24 that the UKP's newly established working group has been dealing with in the past several months.

B92 TV's investigative program Insider (Insajder) looked into the matter in the "The State Pillaging of the State" serial. The program investigated how during the sanctions against Serbia money was taken out of the country to be taken back through privatizations.

One example of the money that was taken to Cyprus and later returned was when Stefanović bought Jugoremedija in 2002.

In early August 2012 the police arrested four suspects, believed to have damaged the company for a sum of EUR 600,000.

In April, minority shareholders in two other pharmaceutical companies - Luxol and Pan Pharma - filed their lawsuits and asked for damages of EUR 111.15 to be paid to them as owners of a stake in Jugoremedija. They said the damages were incurred through the controversial privatization.

In the meantime, Jugoremedija avoided liquidation last June. A tender called in early 2011 to sell 92.87 percent of its shares did not attract any buyers.