The Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina in Sarajevo sentenced the former director of Bosnia’s Indirect Taxation Authority (UIO), Kemal Causevic, to nine years in prison on Thursday, and ordered seizure of property worth 1.7 million marks (€900k), on counts of abuse of office, money laundering, and receiving bribe.
Causevic and 53 other suspects had been arrested in June 2014 in a police operation dubbed Pandora. The group included many employees of UIO, as well as Bosnia’s customs service. The indictment was confirmed in 2017.
Causevic, who had graduated from Sarajevo University’s Faculty of Economy in 1990, started working at the Finance Ministry of Bosnia’s Federation entity (FBiH) in 1996, and rose through the ranks to become head of the Indirect Tax Authority in 2003, position he held until 2011.
State prosecutor, Dubravko Campara, said that the trial proved that Causevic had contacted textile traders Anes Sadikovic and Sedinet Karic in early 2007 and “agreed to favor their companies to the detriment of others.”
Companies owned by Sadikovic and Karic had imported Chinese-made clothing into Bosnia with falsified papers which said the goods originated from Turkey. This was done to avoid paying taxes and import duties in Bosnia, as the country has a bilateral trade agreement with Turkey which includes zero tariffs on textile imports.
Campara said that witnesses who testified in court said that Sadikovic and Karic, paid Causevic 1,000 marks (€500) per each truck of goods imported into Bosnia. He added that Causevic had received in total more than 1.7 million marks (€880k) this way – nearly 1.3 million (€660k) from Sadikovic, and about 425,000 marks (€220k) from Karic. Sadikovic was sentenced to two years in jail, and Karic to one year behind bars.