16 arrested in case involving theft of PM brother's identity

16 persons have been arrested on charges of financial crime and theft of identity of several persons, including Andrej Vucic, the brother of the prime minister.

Source: B92, Beta, Tanjug
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Interior Minister Nebojsa Stefanovic said that the arrests came as part of an operation targeting financial crime, and that the suspects apprehended on Friday are residents of Novi Sad, Jagodina, and Belgrade, along with "a person with dual citizenship from Budva (Montenegro)."

The police continue to search for two other suspects.

Stefanovic told a news conference in Belgrade that the suspects worked together and abused official position, laundered money, causing financial damage to the state budget, but also to those citizens whose identity they abused, "including Andrej Vucic."

"They used forged ID card forms to fill out data of the persons whose identity they stole and register seven phantom firms with the Business Registers Agency (APR)," he said.

Among these companies is Asomacum, founded in 2010, with Andrej Vucic listed as the owner. The company's bank account was blocked in 2011 over a RSD 20 million debt. The issue of Asomacum's business was first brought up by opposition New Party (NS) leader and MP Zoran Zivkovic.

Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic reacted at the time by saying that his brother was the victim of identity theft.

Stefanovic told the news conference on Friday that among those arrested is a former Tax Administration official, S. J., and suspects named as D.J. and A.J., "who effectively conducted the business of the Asomacum company."

S.J. was previously arrested in 2011 on suspicion that she abused her official position to gain RSD 30 million in a case involving some of the seven phantom firms.

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