Organized Crime Group Dismantled in Bosnia

The Prosecutor’s Office of Bosnia and Herzegovina issued 36 indictments against an organized crime group based in Zenica, central Bosnia. The suspects are charged with damaging the state budget for US$2.2 million through tax evasion and money laundering. 

Of the 36 indictments, 21 were issued against individuals, and the remaining 12 against legal entities. The group, described in the indictment as highly organized and with clearly defined roles, allegedly operated under the leadership of Fahrudin Cago and his right hand man Smail Mujcinovic. Fahrudin Cago is the owner of “Cago komerc,” a tobacco distribution company which sold cigarettes manufactured by the cigarette factories “Fabrika duvana Sarajevo” in Sarajevo, Bosnia, and “Fabrika duvana Rovinj” in Rovinj, Croatia.

According to prosecutors, Cago komerc falsified sales records saying that it sold a portion of its cigarettes to 12 companies at a low price. The company then paid taxes on these false sales. In reality, the company actually sold the cigarettes to persons and businesses for cash in side deals. The company kept track of these off-the-books sales in a second set of books.

Fahrudin Cago was charged with running the organized crime group from the beginning of 2006 until the end of October 2009.

According to the indictment, Mujanovic ran the operation, while the other defendants employed at Cago komerc produced records of the fictitious sales, kept secret internal records, and found the accused legal entities that were to bear the burden of taxation for the fictitious sales.

In 2009, Cago was arrested for tax evasion and organized crime. The Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina sentenced him to a month in prison while the investigation was underway.