THE BIGGEST INDICTMENT IN THE HISTORY OF BIH JUSTICE ISSUED FOR TRAFFICKING IN PERSONS AND ORGANIZED CRIME. 13 PERSONS ACCUSED OF CRIMINAL OFFENSES COMMITTED AGAINST MORE THAN 600 VICTIMS WHO WERE KEPT IN SERVITUDE27.06.2014. 10:40
A Prosecutor of the Special Department for Organized Crime, Economic Crime and Corruption within the Prosecutor’s Office of BiH issued an indictment against 13 persons charging them with organized crime and trafficking in persons related to labor exploitation of more than 600 people and recruitment of nationals of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia and Macedonia for work in Azerbaijan.
The investigation, conducted by the Prosecutor’s Office of BiH, determined that the accused persons have taken advantage of the difficult financial position and vulnerability of these individuals to organize the departure of a few hundred people to Azerbaijan where they would allegedly work and find employment.
Upon recruitment in BIH and arrival to a foreign country, the workers were kept in inhumane conditions and inadequate accommodation; they were denied payment of agreed work fee; they were subjected to monetary sanctions and were forced to work overtime with no possibility of rejecting such work. Upon arrival the passports would be taken away from workers and they would be kept in complete dependence of the accused persons, as they had no means of livelihood, their freedom of movement was limited as well as the possibility to return to BiH; Thereby, the criminal offense of Trafficking in Persons was committed against them, by exploitation of their work.
In this way, the accused persons have exploited the victims and obtained multi-million amounts of illegal profits, which were kept in multiple accounts in several states. According to the evidence gathered it concerns the amount of about BAM 5.9 million the forfeiture of which will be requested during the proceeding.
This indictment represents a decisive step taken by the Prosecutor’s Office of BiH in combating human trafficking and exploitation of its citizens and their difficult situation, for labor.
During the investigation in this matter significant international cooperation was achieved. This indictment, as well as all future activities of the Prosecutor’s Office of BiH, will significantly contribute to the improvement of the status of our country on the List of the U.S. State Department aiming to reinstate our country into Tier 1 where there are countries that effectively combat human trafficking and detect, prosecute and prevent such occurrences.
The persons charged are as follows:
1. Vučenović Božo, born on June 1, 1960 in Ljubačevo, a citizen of BiH and Serbia;
2. Vučenović Milan, born on October 21, 1962 in Bosanska Gradiška, a citizen of BiH and Serbia;
3. Ljubičić Rade, born on May 14. 1972 in Gradiška, BiH citizen;
4. Lipovac Saša, born on February 28, 1970 in Nova Gradiška - Croatia, BiH citizen;
5. Turanović Safet, born on January 22, 1972 in Jajce, BiH citizen;
6. Turanović Rasim, born on August 10, 1967 in Jajce, BiH citizen;
7. Tatić Nenad, born on April 27, 1982 in Bosanska Gradiška, BiH citizen;
8. Kojić Slavisa, born on February 28, 1977 in Bosanska Gradiška, a citizen of BiH and Serbia;
9. Dmitrović Zoran, born on May 28, 1962 in Bosanska Gradiška, BiH citizen;
10. Kalajdžić Zoran, born on May 5, 1971 in Bosanska Gradiška, BiH citizen;
11. Ćirić Novak, born on November 25, 1983 in Bosanska Gradiška, BiH citizen;
12. Vučenovič Nedeljko, born on February 28, 1989 in Bosanska Gradiška, BiH citizen;
13. Vučenović Miroslav, born on August 4, 1962 in Bosanska Gradiška, BiH citizen.
The accused are charged with the criminal offense of Organized Crime under Article 250, in conjunction with the criminal offenses of Trafficking in Persons under Article 186 and the criminal offense of Money Laundering under Article 209of the Criminal Code of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The indictment includes a proposed list of 84 prosecution witnesses that the prosecution intends to examine as well as hundreds of pieces of evidence.
The indictment was forwarded to the Court of BiH for confirmation.
Dear Media Representatives, when transmitting news please bear in mind that persons referred to in the news and information of the BiH Prosecutor's Office, have the status of a suspect or an accused person. Let us remind you of the principle of presumption of innocence, which defines that no person shall be considered guilty until his/her guilt has been established by a final verdict.