Large-scale crime befell GIKIL, from which BAM 21 million was extracted. The case in the Prosecutor’s Office of the Tuzla Canton (TC) has been formed, the indictment has been confirmed, but the question is what is the fate of the proceedings because the main suspects are unavailable to the judiciary of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), which with its measures enabled them to leave our country.
In 2019, the Lukavac Global Ispat Koksna Industrija (GIKIL) came into the spotlight of the BiH and regional public due to the crime committed in this company, from which 21 million BAMwere ultimately extracted in a very suspicious manner. Billionaire Pramod Mittal, who is currently unavailable to theBiH judiciary, was at the head of the criminal group, which ultimately enabled him to leave BiH unhindered.
On January 23rd of this year, the Cantonal Court in Tuzla confirmed the indictment against the former members of the Supervisory Board and management of GIKIL, in the case of organized crime, in connection with acts of corruption and economic crime. The accused are Pramod Mittal, Rajib Das, Parames Batacarija, Ivana Bunoza, Mate Pavkovic, Erna Mehmedovic, Faik Busevac, and Vehid Mesic.
According to information from the TC Prosecutor’s Office, Mittal, as the leader of an organized crime group and the founder and owner of the legal entity GSHL (Global Steel Holdings Limited-London), which had co-ownership in GIKIL, and Das, Batacarija, Bunoza, Pavkovic and Mehmedovic, are accused of the criminal offense of organized crime related to abuse of position and authority. On the other hand, the former directors of GIKIL and Koksno chemik kombinat (KHK) Vehid Mesic and Faik Busovac were accused of the criminal offense of entering into a harmful contract.
After detention, they casually left BiH, the court’s assessment was bad
Namely, after the spectacular arrest in 2019, and then the interrogation, this trio left the detention unit in Tuzla, where they were held for five days. The release was preceded by the payment of a bail in the amount of almost three million BAMalong with the payment of 11 million euros of the property-legal claim related to the damage to GIKIL.
However, Mittal and his accomplices were not given any measure related to the ban on movement outside BiH. In the decision order, it was stated that Mittal and the other suspects must respond to every summons of the court or the prosecution, and if they do not respond, the bail decision is revoked, and the funds become the income of the Federation of BiH (FBiH).
After their release, what the public was pointing to happened very quickly, namely that the trio decided to leave BiH, and it was then that any “living connection” between the judiciary and Mittal, Das, and Batacari, who were of Indian origin, was ended.The court’s decision can now be considered a mistake.
The Acting Prosecutor of the Cantonal Prosecutor’s Office in Tuzla Cazim Serhatlic explains that the law has given the possibility to determine certain milder measures in the case of detention, if they do not lead to the procedure being prolonged.
“The Cantonal Court in Tuzla estimated at that time that bail measures in the amount of three million BAM, and in relation to all three suspects, would be sufficient for them to appear. On the other hand, the property-legal demand of GIKIL was also acted upon, and 11 million euros were secured for the amount of funds that Mittal unlawfully extracted according to the indictment. That was probably enough reason for the Cantonal Court in Tuzla to make a decision,” Serhatlic points out.
Disputed arbitration in the amount of 300 million BAM
In the past years, GIKIL managed to start the recovery process, and today they have a fairly stable business, however, they are burdened with an arbitration decision weighing more than 300 million BAM based on the debt of Moorgate Industries Limited.
In this context, the Cantonal Prosecutor’s Office in Tuzla states that there are grounds for doubting that the basis of the arbitration decision in criminal activities is related to the documentation, on the basis of which the debt was actually created.
“The investigation will continue in that direction because there are grounds for suspicion that the company Stemcor, and now Moorgate, which was previously the exclusive supplier of coal and seller of coke (fuel) to GIKIL, created an artificial debt, which was the basis for making the arbitration decision. We will partly try to check other details through international legal assistance,” noted Serhatlic, Klix.ba reports.