Pension fund fraud robbed state of "hundreds of millions"

Financial abuses in the Pension Fund (PIO) caused damages to the state measured in hundreds of millions of dinars, Interior Minister Nebojša Stefanović says.

Source: B92

Stefanović told B92 that the fraud case, in which six people were detained as suspects on Wednesday, revealed "a corruptive system that has rocked the society.".

The revelations that the fund approved pensions to persons who were not eligible, and in some cases not even employed, came amid a debate on possible pension cuts.

According to Stefanović, the case showed "why there are so many problems in the PIO, why belt-tightening must take place... because there has been a lot of corruption in the society."

The Prosecutor's Office for Organized Crime, the police, and the PIO discovered at least 58 instances when pensions were granted illegally, while Prosecutor Miljko Radisaljević said that 250 other suspicious pensions were now being analyzed.

Stefanović also told B92 that secretaries of state would soon be appointed to the Interior Ministry, but did not wish to say who the candidates were, saying instead that "not all the positions are reserved for the SNS" - the party he hails from.

The minister remarked that "not a single man" in his new cabinet had been sacked since he took over. "I want to rely on work, regardless of the party card," said the minister.

Stefanović revealed that while choosing his closest associates he would "also consult with the prime minister" - because the security system was "not a matter only for the minister of interior."

Stefanović, who previously served as parliament speaker, on Wednesday received the "Best European in 2013" award for the field of politics - for his contribution to "improvement and promotion of European standards of parliamentary democracy."

Politics

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