Chinese technology giant Huawei has had secret contacts with people closely connected to Serbia’s state telecoms operator, Telekom Serbia, through offshore companies in Panama and the British Virgin Islands, for years, according the Pandora Papers, the KRIK investigative website reports.
The documents showed that at least a million euros ended in the accounts of those companies. A part is said to have gone to Telekom Serbia director Igor Jecl and lawyer Milorad Ignjacevic, who had business with the state-owned company through his ‘In the palm of your hand’ website, KRIK wrote.
According to the website, Jecl was the owner of an offshore company, Rofly Investments, headquartered on the British Virgin Islands and had lucrative contracts with the Chinese giant, earning him at least 1.3 million euros.
Before Jecl, his friend, 84-year-old Ignjacevic, had contracts with Huawei through his offshore company Goldberg Brokerage’from Panama.
Jecl succeeded him eight years later.
In a database of nearly 12 million leaked documents under the ‘Pandora’s Papers’ project, led by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), KRIK and Organised Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) journalists found documents related to those secret deals.
The first contracts were signed in 2007, when Huawei was establishing a business in Serbia. According to the leaked documents, the last contract was concluded on January 1, 2014, before Huawei became one of Telecom’s most important partners.
In 2014, Huawei got the job of developing Internet television (IPTV) from Telecom. Two years later, a contract worth 150 million euros, stipulating the installation of optical cables, was signed, writes KRIK.
Jecl worked at Telekom from 2003 to 2008 did not want to answer questions from KRIK journalists.
Ignjacevic cooperated profitably with Telekom Serbia, KRIK added.
His other offshore company, Travis Assets, and his son Uros agreed with Jecl to develop the ‘In the palm of your hand’ website for Telekom at a time when the lawyer started cooperating with Huawei. After a few years, the Ignjacevics bought the site from Telecom for only one dinar.
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