NEWS

Yugo cash trail leads to Cyprus

THE HAGUE (AFP) – Former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic headed a secret financial network spanning 50 countries, including Greece and Cyprus, according to a report by prosecutors at the UN court in The Hague where he is on trial for war crimes. Most of the money entering the network – which was used mainly for sanctions busting and illegal arms buying – has been identified as coming from the Yugoslav customs department (SUC), at the time one of the main sources of government revenue. Some was sent directly to government departments like the army or Interior Ministry forces. A second portion was channeled through Yugoslav banks. The third part allegedly went through front companies operated by foreign banks, especially in Cyprus, where the Popular Bank of Cyprus was named by the prosecutors, and Greece, where the Hellenic Bank was named. Companies named by prosecutors as having benefited from Yugoslav money include Neocom, a company based in Cyprus and owned until 1998 by Boris Milosevic, Slobodan’s brother.