KRIK:”Siniša Mali did own 24 apartments”

Despite strong denials, Serbian Finance Minister, Sinisa Mali, owned luxury apartments worth 6.1 million dollars on Bulgaria’s Black Sea coast, Crime and Corruption Reporting Network KRIK, confirmed late on Sunday.

In 2015, when the news broke out, Mali was the mayor of Belgrade, and he admitted to owning one apartment in a resort complex there but insisted that his name only appeared on documents connected to 23 other flats because he was assisting a client with a business deal, KRIK and the Organised Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP), said.

However, back then, Mali denied the ownership of the other 23 apartments, insisting his name only appeared on documents because he was assisting a client with a business deal.

KRIK recalled that Serbia’s President Aleksandar Vucic had defended Mali, a longtime ally, against any suggestion of corrupt dealings.

„I have absolute trust in Minister Sinisa Mali,“ Vucic said earlier this year. „I will remind you of all the lies about him, including owning 24 apartments in Bulgaria. The politicians who led that campaign lied and so did the media.“

However, the latest report said that „now, six years later, KRIK and OCCRP have uncovered definitive proof that Mali owned the apartments despite denials. The evidence was found in documents from the Pandora Papers, a massive leak of documents from 14 offshore service providers, including one used by Mali.

The report said that Trident Trust, a provider based in the British Virgin Islands, a notorious offshore haven used by the wealthy to shield their assets from public scrutiny, firstly established two British Virgin Islands companies for Mali: Brigham Holding & Finance Inc. and Etham Invest & Finance Corp.

„Then, Mali’s two companies bought two Bulgarian firms, Erma 11 and Erul 11, which already owned most of the apartments and soon purchased the rest,“ the report said.

KRIK added that „Mali was listed as the director of the British Virgin Islands companies, so reporters were previously able to link him to the apartment purchase through property sales records. But because of the islands’ opaque reporting requirements, it was not clear who owned the companies, and therefore the apartments — until now.“

Documents from the Pandora Papers reveal that Mali was, in fact, the sole shareholder of Brigham Holding & Finance Inc. and Etham Invest & Finance Corp.,“ KRIK discovered.

Mali did not respond to multiple requests for comment on the new revelations.

(Radio Free Europe, 03.10.2021)

https://www.slobodnaevropa.org/a/sinisa-mali-pandora-papiri-stanovi-bugarska-/31490745.html

 

This post is also available in: Italiano

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