"More banks suffered losses through deals with Farmakom"
Nebojša Stefanović believes that Farmakom MB owner Miroslav Bogićević, who was arrested on Monday, caused financial damage to several banks and companies.Source: Beta, Tanjug
According to the interior minister, Privedna Banka (bank) was not the only one that lost money as a result of Bogićević's actions.
"I believe that the investigation will show there are others banks or commercial entities that are part of that chain," Stefanović told reporters in Belgrade on Tuesday, and added that he "knows people whose companies are completely ruined because of their cooperation with Farmakom," and were previously "healthy and normal."
As he pointed out, the police must gather evidence "intensively" so that proceeds of crime can be confiscated, while "the aim of Serbia is to collect all tax debts and everything that citizens are losing," and listed "schools, hospitals, maternity wards."
Asked whether the arrest of Bogićević "means that the abuse did not stop after the change of government," Stefanović said that "now there is the political will to crack down on crime and corruption."
"We're also arresting people from our ranks and people who, in the period when we came to power, committed some crime; party membership will not protect anyone. Our party membership will not protect anyone. In this case no members of the SNS are involved, but nonetheless we are arresting people for whom there is sufficient evidence, and in cooperation with the prosecution they will be prosecuted," said Stefanović.
The minister added that "sometimes people who used the system to commit abuses were respectable members of society."
"Unlike in the previous period we now arresting these people... they were once prominent members of society just like (Dragoslav) Kosmajac and the like, and now we are arresting these people... and I think it's a strong message to our society," said he.
Stefanović stressed that "the police or the state cannot prevent someone from committing a crime, but can arrest them."
"Now there is the political will to deal with corruption and crime while previously obviously there was not," he said.
Asked how it was possible that Privredna Banka was approving loans it could not collect on just as other banks were under scrutiny for abuses, Stefanović said that "everyone in Serbia who thinks they will get away with a crime is mistaken."
"I do not understand these people... Anyone who thinks that today in Serbia they can commit a criminal offense and get away with it, I think is very much mistaken... and for that reason I would warn everyone in the country to respect the law" - concluded the minister.