US identifies five Kosovo Serb businessmen as leaders of organised crime group


The US Department of Treasury’s press release titled ‘Northern Kosovo-Based Transnational Organized crime: Zvonko Veselinovic and his Organized Crime Group’ named five Kosovo Serbs as members of organised crime, including Veselinovic’s brothers Zvonko and Zarko, Milan Radojcic, Zeljko Bojic and Marko Rosic.

It said that Zvonko Veselinovic, “the leader of the Zvonko Veselinovic Organised Crime Group (OCG), is one of Kosovo’s most notorious corrupt figures. The Veselinovic OCG is engaged in a large-scale bribery scheme with Kosovar and Serbian security officials who facilitate the group’s illicit trafficking of goods, money, narcotics, and weapons between Kosovo and Serbia.”

The press release says that the group “has also conspired with various politicians in several quid pro quo agreements, including the early 2019 bribery of Kosovar security officials to allow their smuggling operations between Serbia and Kosovo and the late 2017 bribery of Kosovar border security officials to allow safe passage for smugglers.”

It said it had discovered 16 individuals and 24 entities in several European countries and the Western Hemisphere under Executive Order 13818 targeting those who have committed corruption and serious human rights violations.

Commenting on the Treasury Department report, Serbia’s President Aleksandar Vucic said his ruling Serbian Progressive Party (SNS) had not gotten a penny for Veselinovic’s brother.

The release detailed the other crimes allegedly committed by the OCG, adding that ”as of late 2017, Veselinovic and his brother Zarko Veselinovic had agreements with politicians to help their party win elections, secure political victories for their candidates, and contribute large sums of money to candidates. In return, these politicians would grant the brothers control of certain areas for their businesses and where they could conduct their illicit business activities without interference by Serbian authorities and would also provide proprietary business information to support the brothers’ business investments. The politicians would also reward the Veselinovic brothers by working to grant the brothers the best infrastructure contracts.”

“Additionally, Veselinovic and his group were indicted for their alleged involvement in the murder of political party leader Oliver Ivanovic in January 2018. Veselinovic and fellow members of the OCG, Radojcic, Bojic and Rosic were all named in the indictment for the murder, each serving their role in the assassination for the criminal enterprise,” the press release added.