Crime suspect accuses businessmen, Port of Belgrade

BELGRADE -- A suspected cigarette smuggling kingpin has accused two Serbian businessmen of "using his money" to buy Port of Belgrade and a daily newspaper.

Stanko Subotić, aka Cane, indicted in Serbia for cigarette smuggling operations organized in the 1990s, last night took part in a B92 TV program via phone.

The show was hosted by journalist Jugoslav Ćosić, who was interviewing Montenegro's opposition Movement for Change leader Nebojša Medojević.

Subotić accused Medojević of "organizing a manhunt against him on the orders of (Serbian businessman) Milan Beko", adding that the Montenegrin politician was Beko's "mercenary".

Subotić said he was phoning in from Geneva, Switzerland, and specified that he was in his villa, "where I have been living for the past 12 years".

With this, he said, he was denying claims made earlier by Medojević that both he, and the suspected drug smuggling boss Darko Šarić were hiding in Žabljak, in northern Montenegro, "in a Montenegrin police villa".

Subotić, who has an international arrest warrant issued for him by Serbia, also said that Medojević was "well aware" of his whereabouts in Switzerland.

He went on to accuse Beko and Delta Holding owner Miroslav Mišković of "swindling him out of EUR 50mn", to then "use than money to buy the Port of Belgade and Večernje Novosti (daily)", and pointed the finger at Medojević, saying that his criticism in fact came on the orders of the pair of businessmen.

Subotić also warned Beko and Mišković that he had started "legal procedures" against them, claiming they owed him EUR 50mn, and that this would "include Medojević, and spread to others".

Medojević reacted by denying all the accusations, including that he had any ties with Beko and Mišković, and stressed he was previously "talking about Subotić's activities in Montenegro, not in Serbia".

"I am talking about organized crime in Montenegro, about the procedure being led for ten years by (Italian) State Prosecutor Scelsi, about 16 big metal cabinets filled with documents, about the part of the evidence on cigarette smuggling and money laundering that I received," said Medojević.

He added that there was "no reason to doubt" Subotić was in fact in Geneva, but noted that "he still remains a fugitive from justice".

"He (Subotić) is wanted by several justice systems for several criminal acts," Medojević concluded.

Meanwhile, the Port of Belgrade company reacted to the accusations heard in the B92 TV program on Monday night by saying that they were false, and that the company was not bought "with a single euro from Stanko Subotić's funds".

Port of Belgrade said that its financial business was transparent and available to institutions with jurisdiction in such cases, "and known to the banks that financed the transaction".