Serbian Finance Ministry demands access to bank records of journalists and NGOs

Nova S

The Serbian Finance Ministry’s Money Laundering Prevention Department has drawn up a list of media employees and NGOs whose bank records it wants to check, Newsmax Adria reported on Monday.

The ministry department is demanding access to the bank records over the past year to determine whether the NGOs and individuals are connected to money laundering or operations to finance terrorism, it said.

The Director of the Center for Investigative Journalism (CINS) Branko Cecen, who is on the list, said that the demand for bank records is an abuse of institutions to deal with critics of the authorities.

“The Money Laundering Department is checking if I am laundering money… In a country where crime is flourishing, a country in which (organized crime boss and drug trafficker) Darko Saric has invested at least a billion Euro in this country and the Department never said a word. The Finance Minister has 24 apartments in Bulgaria. What are 24 apartments in Bulgaria but money laundering? And now, on top of it all, they are checking on me… I mean, they’ll die laughing when they see my account,” Cecen said.