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News 27 Oct 14

Serbian PM’s Brother in ‘Fake ID Card’ Row

An opposition MP accused Aleksandar Vucic’s brother of running a company involved in illegal business practices, but officials said his ID card was stolen to set up the offending firm.

Gordana Andric
BIRN
Belgrade
Zoran Zivkovic. | Photo by Beta

Marko Marinkovic, the deputy director of the Serbian Tax Administration, said on Sunday that the allegations against the prime minister’s brother, Andrej Vucic, had been investigated and found to be false as long ago as 2011.

The company, Asomacum, which was involved in financial fraud, was set up with a forged ID card in Andrej Vucic’s name, he said.

“It was established that the company was formed with a fake ID. When compared with the real Andrej Vucic’s ID, it was discovered that it was forged – the photograph, Interior Ministry seal, signature, ID card number and address were not the same,” Marinkovic told TV Pink.

He added that Andrej Vucic also talked with investigators and said he has no connections with Asomacum.

The claims of wrongdoing were raised in parliament on Friday by Zoran Zivkovic, an MP from the opposition New Party.

As Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic was talking about collecting tax from “tycoons’ enterprises”, Zivkovic commented that a company involved in dodgy business deals owned by the premier’s brother owed about 22 million dinars (233,000 euro) in taxes.

Vucic declared that his brother’s identity had been stolen and that he was ready to hand in his resignation if Zivkovic’s claims were confirmed. He also asked for Zivkovic’s resignation if he failed to prove his allegations.

“It’s either you or me,” Vucic said.

According to data from Serbian Business Register, Asomacum was established as a company in March 2010. A person named Andrej Vucic was listed as both legal representative and a sole owner of the company.

In February 2012, the Commercial Court launched bankruptcy procedures against it.

Marinkovic said that Asomacum was involved in illegal business dealings, which the Tax Administration started investigating several months after the company was formed.

He added that the tax authorities have no information about who was behind the company and that it was up to the police to investigate.

Vucic’s Progressive party called on Zivkovic to resign as an MP.

But Zivkovic said he believed that he had proved his point because the Serbian Business Register does show that a company involved in illegal activity was owned by a person with the same identity card as the PM's brother, while the authorities that are supposed to investigate the forgery have so far failed to solve the case.

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