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News 14 Nov 14

Serbian Tycoon Beko Wounded in Ambush

The business tycoon Milan Beko was shot and wounded in front of his home in Belgrade, prompting police to block the city in the hunt for the gunmen.

 

Police in front Beko's home. | Photo by Beta

Milan Beko was shot with two bullets in front of his home in Belgrade on Friday afternoon and police are searching for the pepetrators of the attack.

“Surgery has been carried out and the patient's condition is stable, but I have to stress that the injuries are extremely difficult and life threatening,” Dusan Jovanovic, deputy director of the emergency clinic, told reporters.

Dusan Milic, head of the city police department, said that the police had blocked all the main roads in capital and were doing everything to find the attackers.

“We are looking for what we believe were a gunman and his helper. Police are checking all suspicious people who match the description of the perpetrators,” Milic told Serbia's public broadcaster, RTS.

He added that the police had no information that Beko has been threatened or any indication that he might be attacked.

The daily Blic reported that the gunmen were hiding in front of Beko’s home and that the businessman was shot in abdomen while exiting a car.

Milan Beko. | Photo by Beta

Beko was an active supporter of the then opposition Democratic Party in the 1990s, becoming godfather to a child of former Prime Minister Zoran Djindjic and a good friend of the former secret police chief Jovica Stanisic.

In the late 1990s, serving as economy minister, he launched the privatisation process. At the time he was viewed as a liberal force in the authoritarian regime of Slobodan Milosevic.

He has been identified as a crucial figure in several privatisations conducted after 2000, that police are now investigating.

His off-shore companies played a role in the sales of the Port of Belgrade, the beverage company Knjaz Milos, the newspaper Vecernje Novosti and the supermarket chain C market.

Beko has also been identified as a major sponsor of political parties, along with the owner of Delta Holding, Miroslav Miskovic. Beko has succeeded in avoiding public exposure most of the time.

 

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