OLAF is investigating Nešić, Rizvo and spending of the EU funds in BiH!

A. Dučić/Fokus.ba

The European Anti-Fraud Office also formed a case following our portal’s reports about an affair in the BiH Ministry of Security

European Anti-Fraud Office – OLAF has formed a case concerning non-transparent spending of EU funds in the BiH Ministry of Security, Fokus.ba learns.

Namely, OLAF has launched an investigation into malfeasance during the implementation of the project to improve the system of biometric identification of foreigners, worth tens of millions of BAM, which is financed by the EU in our country.

Fokus discovered this affair in November 2023.

Reported to the BiH Prosecutor’s Office

As we reported, the BiH Minister of Security Nenad Nešić, as well as the Assistant to Minister for International Cooperation Samir Rizvo were, among others, reported to the BiH Prosecutor’s Office for malfeasance in the implementation of this project. The BiH Prosecutor’s Office had earlier officially confirmed to Fokus.ba that this case was assigned to the acting prosecutor of the BiH Prosecutor’s Office.

The case is recorded under number OC/2023/1166.

Fokus had access to recent correspondence of OLAF with certain bodies in Bosnia and Herzegovina, by which they requested more information about indications related to individuals in the EU Delegation in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

A network of actors

As we reported, it is a network of actors from the aforementioned institutions. In the criminal complaint received by the BiH Prosecutor’s Office, Nešić, Rizvo and others are, in addition to abuse of position or authority, also accused of the criminal offense of “preparation of a criminal offense” according to which incrimination covers also the following “whoever procures or prepares any means for, or removes obstacles to, or undertakes any other act to create conditions for the immediate commission of the crime, but is not part of it.”

The criminal complaint underlines favoring of the Page Company from Istočno Sarajevo, which was founded by Igor Golijanin, the former head of the Cabinet of the Minister of Security while Dragan Mektić was in this position. When it comes to the mentioned company, as explained in detail in the criminal complaint, it was selected from the third time after two tenders for the procurement of equipment were annulled, and the prices were “enormously inflated”.

In its previous articles Fokus revealed that renowned companies, which had filed appeals to the tender procedure, cited glaring “mistakes” in the tender, including the request for accuracy of the algorithm, which is based on data from 2012. We gave the opportunity and the space for comments and statements to the company Page in the previous text.

Copy of the letter sent to the EU Delegation to BiH

The EU Delegation in Bosnia and Herzegovina answered us earlier that credible accusations of embezzlement should be taken seriously with appropriate measures. When it comes to ICMPD, the connections of this Austrian organization with actors in Bosnia and Herzegovina, especially Rizvo, are being investigated. The ICPMD previously confirmed to Fokus the information that Samir Rizvo’s son is employed in this organization as a project assistant, while Rizvo himself is one of the ICPMD’s contact points in the state institutions, meaning that the ICPMD staff works directly with him on various issues, and projects.

European investigators

Although OLAF is already extensively investigating abuses and manipulations with IPA funds in the BiH Ministry of Security of BiH, the EU Delegation to BiH, as we have learned, entrusted the procurement of AFIS and other police systems worth about ten million Euro to the ICMPD office in Sarajevo again.

In addition, Fokus was contacted in the past months by Austrian and German journalists who became interested in this affair after our article was published. We learn that they also have contacted the BiH Ministry of Security, the ICMPD and the EU Delegation to BiH.Investigators of the European Platform for investigative journalism “Follow the Money”, based in the Netherlands and dealing inter alia with a series of financial affairs in Europe and the world, have also contacted Fokus, taking an interest in an array of information about this story in BiH.

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