News 24 Dec 12

Montenegro Bank Chiefs Suspected of Corruption

Former and current bank employees, following two days in jail, were released by Sunday, but may yet face indictments for corruption.

Milena Milosevic

The police's Department for Fighting Organised Crime and Corruption arrested  four former heads and one current employee of Crnogorska komercijalna banka (Montenegro's Commercial Bank), CKB, on Friday.

They were arrested on suspicion of having abused their positions, police stated. They bank's former general manager is still being sought.

The six people are suspected of issuing loans for 5 million euro to companies without required guarantees between 2005 and 2009.

Judge Miroslav Basovic released the detainees from jail, however, rejecting a prosecution request for the suspects to be kept in custody.

Prime Minister Milo Djukanovic told media on Friday that he was only briefly informed about the action and wouldn't yet qualify it as part of the "fight against organised crime and corruption".

Nebojsa Medojevic, an opposition politician, said the action was selective, as another Montenegrin bank, Prva banka, ought to have been investigated first. Prva banka is controlled by the Djukanovic family.

In May, a report by the Investigation of Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project and the BBC claimed that Prva banka was used to further the personal interests of the Djukanovic family and their associates.

Prosecutors said they would appeal against the investigating judge's decision to release the suspects from jail.




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