The NGOs which Serbia’s Finance Ministry Department for Preventing Money Laundering and Financing Terrorism said would investigate and demand the banks provide the details of their accounts, announced on Tuesday they were considering the legal actions against the Department.
They said that Serbia’s institutions received donations from the same European funds as the NGOs.
The Ministry announced it would investigate some NGO’s, media and individuals under the Law Preventing Money Laundering and Financing Terrorism. Still, it did not say on what basis it suspected them of such wrongdoings.
“They (the Ministry) ignore the fact that foreign donors who finance NGOs are the same ones who finance the state institutions, even with larger amounts. If we are foreign mercenaries and do something wrong, what are the state and its institutions doing? If we have a problem because the European Union’s embassies finance organisations from the list, then it should be the same problem for the Department and other institutions, ministries, local authorities..,” Bojana Selakovic, of the Civil Initiatives, said.
She and Rasa Nedeljkov of CRTA said they would take all available legal means in line with the countries laws and inform all relevant institutions and international networks.
“We are discussing how and which international institutions to address about this abuse of the process which Serbia takes part in and which carries certain obligations,” Selakovic said.
Nedeljkov confirmed they would use all laws in Serbia but would contact the international networks and groups in charge of their work, adding „the CRTA largest donors were also the donors of Serbia’s state.“
“We report every penny to Serbia and our donors,” he said.
Earlier in the day, Tanja Fajon, an MEP, and many journalists reacted to the Ministry’s move.
Some Serbia’s opposition parties also condemned the announced investigations.