Serbia's journalist: We're all put in the same basket with criminals

NEWS 28.07.2020 11:37

The Finance Ministry list criminalised people, while I try to discover the crime, to point out where the crime exists, Slobodan Georgijev, the Newsmax Adria Director, told N1on Tuesday.

 He commented on the Ministry’s demand the accessto the bank records of NGOs and individuals over 2019, to determine whether they were connected to money laundering or operations to finance terrorism.

„That Department has the same donor as BIRN – the European Commission. That’s why I ask: „Will the Department for Money Laundering investigate itself?“ Georgijev, who was on the list, asked.

He said, „people should understand that the Department does this when investigating criminals and that we all are put into the same basket with them.“

 „The state institution founded to deal with organised crime and preventing money laundering and terrorism and with people and organisations well known to the public now investigates the finances of the flawless organisations,“ he said.Georgijev added that if there were any suspected activities by those organisations, they would never receive the European Union donations.

„You don’t know whether to laugh or to flee the country when you see such news. All they do is controversial. That list was sent to the banks on July 13. I knew about it because there are honest people in those institutions who see that is an abuse, Georgiev said.

He added that „all they do is the kind of abuse and we’ll see if any procedure against such behaviour will be launched. Besides, if you are involved in suspicious transactions, the banks will report you since it’s a part of their portfolio.“

Georgiev said that the motive for demanding the data was the tabloids’ reports about journalists.

„The Director of the Department for Preventing Money Laundering told me ‘nothing of that matters and that he respects us all,’ and added all was done because of some supervision. He either wanted to calm me down, or he has no influence whatsoever over the job he does,“ Georgijev said.

He recalled Serbia was described by the international community as a country with a high risk of money laundering and added that it was not because of the journalists but due to „many crimes that are not processed.“