Foto: Ceycky/Opcina Banovici

In the past months, Inforadar sent inquiries to several addresses about Gutić’s “status”, as well as questions to Gutić himself to the email addresses of the municipality, which were never answered, but what is known for now is that the Prosecutor’s Office of the Tuzla Canton has opened a case and carried out an expert examination of the seized mobile phones.

 

Inforadar research team

By order of the Cantonal Court in Tuzla, at the beginning of June, police officers of the State Investigation and Protection Agency of BiH (SIPA) as part of the operational operation Kraljica detained the mayor of Banovići Municipality, Bego Gutić, and confiscated his mobile phone, like another municipal official.

 

The Prosecutor’s Office of Tuzla Canton (TK) suspects them of the criminal offence of “abuse of position or authority“, prescribed by the FBiH Criminal Code. This information was also confirmed to Inforadar by SIPA.

Although the prosecutor’s office does not want to disclose details “due to the interest of the investigation” even two months after the police action, we learn that the reason for the detention is activities linked to corruption directed by Bega Gutić (who has since been released from custody).

 

“SPLITTING” OF PROCUREMENTS AND FIXING OF TENDERS

 

According to the documentation that incriminates him, Bego Gutić, as the municipal head, implements more than 90 per cent of public procurements through non-transparent direct agreements, which is also visible on the Pratimo tendere page.

 

Last year alone, out of a total of 51 contracts of the municipality of Banovići (317,977 KM), as many as 45 were concluded directly. Taxpayers paid 179,928 KM for this “fixing” of jobs to private individuals by Mayor Gutić. Of those 45 deals, 23 were valued almost up to the legal limit of 6,000 KM for a direct contract. Several direct agreements represent classic “splitting of procurements”, which hide favouritism and rigging of tenders.

Photo: Facsimile of part of public procurement in Banovići Municipality

 

The chief made sure that part of it remained in the family, so in connection with this he engaged his cousin’s company Gutić transport on several occasions, which is given jobs “from the needle to the locomotive”. First, on April 1 last year, Banovići Municipality rented an ICB machine from Gutić transport for 5,000 KM of budget money. Then the chief hired his cousin’s company for excavations and earthworks, for which they were paid an additional 5,990 KM, and then Gutić transport revised the main projects at Tangram from Lukavac, for which the Municipality allocated 5,900 KM.

 

In March of this year, after conducting a tender and selecting a “commission”, Gutić transport was awarded the job of “making jumbo posters, graphic products, advertising stands, invitations, thank-you cards and congratulation cards”, which was paid for with about 16,000 KM of budget money. And this is all that is known.

Photo: Gutić’s cousin got the job of making jumbo posters after a formal tender

 

In addition to Gutić Transport, in terms of the number of direct contracts, Mayor Bego Gutić especially favoured the company Tanović along the SDA line. 5,950 KM was paid to Tanović for the arrangement of Alije Izetbegović Street. The same company also renovated the municipal premises and they were paid 2,497 KM for that work. Furthermore, Tanović repaired the retaining wall in the settlement of Čifluk for 5,969 KM, and the trough in Mrahorovići for 3,686 KM. Thanks to direct agreements, Tanović is also renovating the Information and Education Center (Informativno-edukativni centar). A job worth 5,983 KM.

 

At the beginning of last year, the Municipality of Banovići acquired 36 tons of coal. The procurement was directly agreed with RM Company and 5,040 KM was paid. In July 2021, the same company received a contract for the transportation of unknown goods and materials, worth 5,900 KM.

 

Kitchen furniture was purchased from Ading Commerca for 5,900 KM, and IMUS Team delivered office furniture for 5,840 KM. The IT equipment was purchased from the company Disti and cost 5,700. Gutić paid the same amount (5,700 KM) to the company Amde projekt for supervision during the rehabilitation of the Dutch House.

 

The list of suspicious contracts also reveals the procurement of stationery from Simmada for 5,956 KM, as well as jumbo posters, printed by OR Print Sudija, for 5,060 KM.

 

The list of Gutić’s favourites is not exhaustive. The main project for the regulation of the bed of Lithuania PGP Hidroinženjering was paid 5,930 KM, while Gutić and the Municipality of Banovići paid 5,900 KM to the same company for the preparation of a study for water permits.

 

5,990 KM was paid to NLB Bank for banking and payment processing services, while 5,900 KM was paid to Atrius Projekt for the development of a project for 15 apartments. This company also made an elaboration for two housing projects for, interestingly, again 5,900 KM. Both jobs were done on the same day, May 24, 2021.

 

The roof of the Fire Station was also being changed. The work was entrusted to AM Gradnja Okić, which was paid 5,965 KM. Also interesting is the contract with the association Triton, which won the job of promoting the Municipality for 5,100 KM.

 

THE ROLE OF THE “INFORM” AGENCY

 

Of particular interest are the multi-year suspiciously concluded contracts with the Inform agency. Namely, Inform was assigned to maintain the official municipal website and was paid 5,999 KM of budget funds on a monthly basis during 2021.

 

As can be seen from the attached, all these procurements reach the limit of 6,000 KM, up to which, according to the Law on Public Procurement, it is allowed to enter into a contract by direct agreement, but with that fact alone with favouritism and various frauds.

Photo: Owner of the agency

 

By the way, the owner of Info is Emir Alibašić from Živinice. Alibašić has a degree in electrical engineering and is an employee of the Health Insurance Institute of the Tuzla Canton as an assistant director. Therefore, he is a person who represents the legal entity Agencija Inform Živinice and at the same time receives a salary as an employee of a public institution.

 

It all started a few years ago, when a new informational web-portal, nezavisni.ba, appeared in the Tuzla Canton. As the media announced, the domain owner of this portal is precisely Emir Alibašić.

 

As Inforadar has been confirmed by several sources, Nezavisni.ba was formed with the task of preserving the position and power of the SDA, but also spreading party and family influence and everything that goes with it. It is no coincidence that the portal was founded with a donation from the Government of TK, that is, with the money of the citizens of this Canton, and that “in the name of services for the promotion of the municipalities of TK”. Which means an even greater familial spread of influence, as well as control over public procurement, because Alibašić is Gutić’s brother’s son-in-law.

Photo: Bh. the domain nezavisni.ba

 

The idea came at the moment when Cantonal Television from Tuzla pointed out the illegalities of the then Prime Minister Bega Gutić, after which he engaged Alibašić and his agency Inform and awarded them a donation from the Government of TK “for the promotion of municipalities in this Canton” (Official newspaper TK no. 16, 6 November 2017). All that time Alibasic was an employee of the Institute of Health Insurance TK.

 

The culmination followed the collapse of the Tuzla Canton SDA and the formation of Mirsad Kukić’s Democratic Action Movement (PDA), and after Alibašić, thanks to IT resources, bought all domains with the ekstenzija.ba that contain the name PDA or PDA BiH.

 

As the media wrote at the time, the domains were bought with the aim of preventing any promotion of Kukić’s new political party and later remained under the direct control of Bega Gutić.

 

In the past months, Inforadar sent inquiries to several addresses about Gutić’s “status”, as well as questions to Gutić himself to the email addresses of the municipality, which were never answered, but what is known for now is that the Prosecutor’s Office of the Tuzla Canton has opened a case and carried out an expert examination of the seized mobile phones.

 

It is not known whether Gutić’s numerous properties are the subject of the investigation: several business premises in Banovići, two apartments in Tuzla and houses in Omazići and apartments in Sarajevo.

 

 

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