Monitor weekly, 18 March 2011
In the net
Monitor research confirms what has already been suspected: Stanko Subotic Cane, accused of smuggling cigarettes and other suspicious activities, has business relationships with most influential people and companies in Montenegro.
No wonder why Svetozar Marovic1 is silent. His problem is not only unfinished Zavala, trials and brother Dragan2
SUBOTIC AND MAROVIC'S: Marovic and Stanko Subotic Cane publicly appeared for the first time on the famous photo from the Villa Montenegro, a few years ago, when Cane presented his ‘Pasarella Project’ – a fantasy that was supposed to link the island of Sveti Nikola with Budva. in custody. Clan Marovic has direct links with Subotic, a face from an Interpol arrest warrant.
Marovic was delighted with the project. Why wouldn't he when Subotic is a business partner of his family. That hidden link can be seen in official documents. Marovic and Subotic are associated through the firm Nikki Beach, which manages the beaches on the coast, including the Mogren Beach. According to data from the Commercial Register, Nikki Beach was founded by the companies CPL Montenegro and Katun.
CPL is a Budvan company associated with Milos Marovic, Svetozar Marovic's son. The founder of CPL is Zorica Popovic, with whom Milos founded the company El Mar. He is also with her in the MC Marina.
Katun's founder is the firm Caldero Trading Limited, which is directly related with Stanko Subotic Cane. This company was registered in 1995 in Nicosia, under registration number 72822. Caldero is one of the founders of Subotic's Futura Plus (and some other Subotic's companies with different addresses – D Trade, EMI, Codex). Futura, one time the largest distributor of press and tobacco in Serbia, after financial troubles passed into the hands of Darko Saric's
narcoclan, which is now under investigation by the Serbian judiciary. Before Cane, distribution network belonged to Vanja Bokan, involved in smuggling cigarettes through Montenegro. Bokan was liquidated in Athens more than ten years ago.
Stanko Subotic Cane does not own property in Montenegro under his name. Before Serbian authorities began to confiscate his estate, Cane officially owned the Villa Montenegro in Sveti Stefan, known for luxury and bacchanalia. Besides the villa, he owned a plot of several thousand square meters at the same location. He announced publicly his plans to build a tourist complex there. Interestingly, the same plans at the same site, also had the Sveti Stefan3 lessees Aman Resorts, and now the Restis Group. As of recently, however, Subotic's name no longer figures in the Montenegrin Real Estate Agency. But his companies are active and possess enormous assets.
SUBOTIC AND DJUKANOVIC'S: Cane is in a number of combinations with the controversial company Beppler & Jacobson that manages the Hotel Avala in Budva, and the Hotel Bianca in Kolasin.
Beppler & Jacobson is officially represented by Dragan Bećirović. Multiple sources, however, claimed that Bećirović is just the front player, and that the family Djukanovic and Stanko Subotic Cane are also inside. According to the Italian indictment4 , on which were both Milo Djukanovic and Stanko Subotic Cane, tobacco operations have brought billions to their protagonists, which were put in different ways in legal circulation .
For some time, according to international indictments, most of the money from shady deals was outside Montenegro in secret accounts in Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Cyprus and other countries. Then, by all accounts, a part of it was returned to Montenegro through privatization and real estate transactions. One of the key company for such tasks migh just have been Beppler & Jacobson, originally registered in London for road transportation, with only two pounds on the account.
It is well known that Beppler overtook Hotel Avala on the basis of a judicial decision adopted by Ana Kolarević, the sister of Milo Djukanovic5 Immediately thereafter, Kolarević left the court, in order to become an official representative of Beppler & Jacobson, a company that should not have been qualified for Avala, as it did not meet the requirements of the tender – having no history, no capital, no experience in the hospitality industry. Avala, after privatization, became notorious for illegal construction, for destroying the initial project and for raising a black monster that devastated the most beatiful part of Budva.
While in the available documents there is no evidence of Djukanovic's ownership in Beppler, the connections between Stanko Subotic and Beppler are well demonstrated.
They jointly formed the Ski Resort Kolašin 1450, which was generously financed by the Djukanovic brothers’ First Bank.
FIRST BANK'S BROTHERLY CREDIT: Ski Resort, according to the report of the independent auditor R & P Auditing, withdrew from the First Bank several multimillion credits for which Subotic's Caldero guaranteed by cash collateral close to four million euros.
Early last year, Subotic's Caldero had a 53 percent stake in the Ski Resort Kolasin and Beppler 43 percent. In February 2011, Caldero overtakes fully the Ski Resort.
Subotic owns through companies Katun and Ski Resort over half a million square meters in Kolasin, on Smrčje and Jezerine. At these locations, figure the well chosen – Aco Djukanovic, with over 275 000 square meters, his nephew, Edin Kolarević with 45 000. Then, there is Dragan Brkovic's6 Vektra with hundreds of thousands of square meters. Beppler's property is endless – more than three million square meters, of which about 700 000 square meters were ceded by decisions of state authorities. And, wherever there are decisions of state authorities, there are also the Djukanovic's.
Now, whether the takeover of these areas accidentally coincided with the national project, forcing Kolasin, that last year took over the primacy of Zabljak…
It is known that suspicious capital is legalized through related entities and companies registered at different addresses. Subotic operated through several companies – Dulwich, Codex, D Trade, MIA, Caldero, plus Futura, Futura Monte, Katun, Tolmat Travel, Emargin marcets Investments (EMI) … Some of them are not active, as for example the MIA, which is listed as one of key companies in Scelsi's indictment. Subotic, according to the indictment, had accounts at the Bank of Cyprus, UBS in Switzerland in Zug and in the Arab Bank of Cyprus. It is suspected that in some of those addresses is kept the money of the Montenegrin political and business leadership, and that shareholders in some of these companies might also be Subotic's tobacco partners from Montenegro. Perhaps they have a stake in Caldero as well.
Beppler & Jacobson, LTD, headquartered in London, at 48 Queen Anne, that bought Hotel Avala, also uses a similar scheme – it establishes companies in multiple addresses with different variations of the name – Beppler & Jacobson Montenegro, Beppler Investments Montenegro Kolasin, Beppler Development Limited from Cyprus, Beppler Development Podgorica, Montenegro Beppler & Partners Kolasin, Beppler & Partners LTD, British Virgin Islands, Branch Beppler Jacobson LTD from Belgrade…
Beppler's empire, as can be seen, extends from the British Virgin Islands, via London, Cyprus, Belgrade – until Kolasin and Podgorica. Beppler's official first man Dragan Becirovic is in different combinations in other firms. His Current Trade, registered in Montenegro, was founded by Zagreb's Caresos company, whose board member Zlatko Čeljuska is on the run due to an international arrest warrant issued on him for fraud and selling someone else's land. He was replaced in the company by the businessman Milan Lucic. Could it the one known for connection with Severina7?
BEPPLER, MICUNOVICI, MAROVICI: Svetozar Marovic's son, Milos is also bound with Beppler. Their joint firm is Club 88, which the younger Marovic formed with Beppler & Jacobson through Zorica Popovic, his business partner from CPL Montenegro. The company appeared on the Coastal Management Agency tender last year and won the use of some beaches, including Richard's Head at the heart of Budva. ?
Milos Marovic is in some other interesting deals. He is one of the founders of MC Marina Budva, whose half belongs to Predrag and Nenad Mićunović and their company Anagusta LTD. Nenad and Predrag are nephews of the controversial Montenegrin businessman Branislav Brano Micunovic, who is together with Cane and Djukanovic on the indictment of Italian prosecutor Giuseppe Scelsi.
Nenad has become known to the public after an incident in which he attacked Nebojsa Medojevic, leader of the opposition Movement for Change. Medojevic expressed publicly suspicions that Branislav Micunovic is involved in criminal activities and accused him of being together with Milo Djukanovic at the top of the Montenegro's criminal octopus engaged in smuggling and other illegal activities.
Predrag Micunovic and Milos Marovic are not only partners in MC Marina. They are co-owners holding tens of thousands of square meters in the Mrčevo field, near the beautiful beach Jaz. Anagusta of Nenad Micunovic has in Sveti Stefan an apartment building, while brothers Micunovic also have 77 percent of the Zeta Film, whose building is located near the old town of Budva.
Although these firms are suspected to be associated with Brano Micunovic, his name only recently appeared in the Business Register of Montenegro. Micunovic is Chairman of the Board of Jackpot, which is predominantly owned by Savo Grbovic, officially the majority owner of the Lottery of Montenegro.
Games without borders, Montenegro in the net.
1 Vicepresident of the ruling Democratic Party of Socialists – DPS
2 Vice-Mayor of Budva, indicted and in prison for alleged criminal acts in the Zavala housing and tourism project
3 Luxury tourist resort on the small island facing Sveti Stefan under 30 year lease
4 Italian Prosecutor Giuseppe Scelsi from Bari indicted a number of Montenegrin for cigarette smuggling
5 As judge, she presided over the court rule that eliminated Beppler's first ranked tender competititor
6 A Montenegrin tycoon and best man of Milo Djukanovic
7 Well known Croatian music star and sex idol
SILENT KILLER: DRUG ADDICTION AMONG YOUNG PEOPLE IN MONTENEGRO: Growing Hopelessness
Young people in Montenegro can reach dugs within half an hour. They often consume it in school backyards, most commonly marijuana, and the use of heavy psychoactive substances is increasing. Many of them suffer from psychological disorders. Monitor's interviewees agree that we don’t talk about this enough, and that we lack support of the society as a whole.
“They use drugs wherever they can, mostly in the schoolyard. They choose places where cameras can't capture them, and those who want to get “stuff” turn to them. In most cases, it is marijuana”, said student A.S. from Electro-Technical High School Vaso Aligrudic in Podgorica.
Last year's research of the Ombudsman Children and Addiction Diseases in Montenegro showed as well that drug addiction is one of the burning problems of young people in Montenegro. According to the research, which included 37 elementary and 25 high schools, marijuana was used by more than 11 percent of students, while on average, more than eight students consumed heavy drugs. “Half of drug addicts use one substance and the other half use two or more substances. Students in Montenegro use significantly more illegal (heavy) drugs than the EU average”, the study said. As many as 16 percent of students said that illicit substances were often consumed at school, and besides, there was an increase in the use of synthetic drugs, which are cheap and easily available.
“Those for whom I know that use marijuana do it behind the school. They did it before on the fire stairs. The most problematic is easy availability of drugs”, said student Z.K. from Economics High School Mirko Vesovic in Podgorica. More than 25 percent of the students that participated in the Ombudsman's research reported a similar view. If one wants drugs, it will take him half to several hours to get it, which is disturbing.
Dijana Milosevic, from Public Institution Kakaricka Gora, an institution for accommodation, rehabilitation and re-socialization of users of psychoactive substances in Podgorica said for Monitor that it generally began with marijuana “The adolescence itself, is the greatest crisis period of each individual, when identity problems naturally appear, difficulties in accepting authority, as well as a tendency to experiment with “forbidden things.” All these are favorable conditions for an adolescent to come into contact with psychoactive substances. There is a persistent misconception among young people that marijuana is not a drug or that it is an “easy drug” which facilitates entering into problem. Most often marijuana is the first substance that addicts consume. Besides consequences which it leaves on the psyche of the consumer, this is a misconception that can cost them their lives”.
According to her, the reasons why young people use drugs are mainly dissatisfaction, concern or rebellion against authority, boredom, family problems, peer violence as well as opinion that cigarettes, alcohol or drugs are some kind of “gateway” to a certain group of peers.
“Behind our school sports hall, you can often see older guys who give marijuana to children. It happens almost every day and its favorite gathering place”, told us another student of Electro-Technical High School Vaso Aligrudic.
Monitor addressed this issue to most of the high schools in Podgorica. The question what they did to restrain this problem, even after weeks of waiting, has not been answered.
“We do not work enough in schools with adolescents, when it comes to drug addiction. However, the reason for that is not in schools, but rather in insufficient involvement of institutions, which should tackle more with this problem. We cannot expect from schools to deal with the education of children and to be a police officer and someone who, among other responsibilities, will work with children on restraining this phenomenon. That is why they need help from both the institutions and the civil sector. Everybody has to deal with this phenomenon. Every year its presence in educational institutions is increasing”, said to Monitor NGO Euromost, whose main goal is to support fight against drugs abuse and all forms of addiction.
Drug abuse increased everywhere in the world, and the same happened in our country, regardless of the actions taken through health, educational, legal system, noted psychologist Natasa Vukovic, who works with peer educators as a part of NGO Euromost actions. “The number of drug users is becoming more noticeable among young people, among high school students and even elderly elementary school students. There are no harmless drugs. The continuous, systemic and systematic action of the whole society is necessary. The aim above all must be that children and young people never turn to drugs”.
According to her, inadequate assistance and lack of support from the family, primarily parents, who have failed to maintain a relationship of trust with their children, and who have failed to “impose” desirable role models, make young people an “easy target”.
“Eighteenth birthday celebrations are particularly problematic. Sometimes flats, where they mix two or three types of drugs and large amounts of alcohol, are being rented. Mostly, this refers to grammar school graduates. My daughter went to one such birthday celebration and she called me to pick her up, shocked and dreadful. She didn't know what was going on there. And parents have no idea”, said for Monitor Patricija Pobric, Director of NGO Our Action.
She claims that a deeper involvement in drug addiction is often preceded by some criminal acts: “Usually, as of the third grade of high school, young people are recruited to buy ID cards by older students. These kids turn to drugs afterwards. They are “carriers” and it’s easy to involve them in petty crimes. They later buy motorcycles and cars from that money “.
Many start using drugs because they expect that it will help them deal with problems on a daily basis. Many start out of curiosity, with the well-known – ‘I will just try it’. Asked why someone became an addict and someone did not, especially if persons grew up in similar circumstances or even in the same family, Natasa Vukovic said that there was no clear and definite answer: “The only certain conclusion is that you should clearly advise everyone not to try psychoactive substance because one does not know in advance whether he/she is sensitive to it, which would mean that even a single intake already creates a psychic need for re-taking it. Such patients exist in practice, and they have a common characteristic that they “immediately liked the drug”.
Euromost noted that in addition to combating drug trafficking, we should work also on improving prevention of drug addiction among youth: “Upon completing the training of the first peer educators, Euromost, besides Bijelo Polje, has expanded its workshops to other northern municipalities, such as Plav, Gusinje and Rozaje. The number of participants is the best indicator of youth interest. However, in order for this to be successful, it is necessary to constantly communicate with young people and listen to what they have to say. It is not really useful just to find an expert who will explain them what the drug is and how it looks like”.
Natasa Vukovic, pointed out for Monitor, that addiction can be closely related to young people’s mental problems. Mind and mental healthcare is still a taboo topic in Montenegro. “It is true that in recent years more and more young people have sought help and advice of psychologists, but still shyly, almost always asking for visits not to be evidenced, and that parents do not find out about it, because it is often very difficult for them to accept the fact that their child goes to a psychologist or psychiatrist”, she said.
The state has similar approach. “There is no institution in our country where young people with a mental illness can be treated”, warned Vukovic.
In Montenegro, National Register on Drug Addiction has been maintained since 2013 by the Institute for Public Health, but it functions only on the basis of data collected from health institutions. There is no information about those who are not reported. According to recent estimates, there are more than 15,000 drug addicts in Montenegro.
How many of them are young people and children is not precisely known. The results of the research are discouraging. Monitor's interviewees agree – there is a lack of communication and cooperation between institutions, schools, parents and young people. And the problem of addiction is not the problem of the individual, but of the whole society.
Milo Popovic and Andrea Jelic
HOW HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS ACCEPTED STAY-AT-HOME AND SOCIAL DISTANCING ORDERS: Time of Worrying and Learning
It has been shown that keeping prescribed distance without physical contact, shaking hands, hugging … is one of the least respected measures among surveyed high school students. According to received answers, the only recommendation that was less respected was the one concerning wearing of protective equipment
Do high school students in Podgorica and to what extent respect the measures taken to prevent coronavirus spread? Through social networks, we surveyed about 200 students, from all high schools in Podgorica, to find out first-hand, how they cope with recommendations and measures that, among other things, limit movement and outdoor activities.
“Ever since the coronavirus appeared in Montenegro and since the Government announced the protective measures, I fully comply with them,” Elena Dabetic told us. “I haven't been out of the house since March, even when I have to go to the store, I go with full equipment: masks, gloves, and I keep distance from other people. Quarantine was not difficult for me since I’ve focused on some other activities, for which I did not have time, such as drawing. I kill boredom by playing online video games with my friends, watching movies, reading books, etc. I believe that people just need to think positively and use this time to work on themselves; well, we have a lot of time and we will learn more to appreciate going out after all this.”
Others, again, relativized the danger and explained why they did not exactly adhere to the imposed measures of social distancing. In fact, it was shown that keeping a prescribed distance of 1-2 meters without physical contact, shaking hands, hugging…was one of the least respected measures among surveyed high school students. Only every tenth respondent respected this experts’ recommendation. Even less number of respondents, according to received answers, respected recommendation concerning wearing of protective equipment. It was respected by every fifth research participant.
“When it comes to quarantine, I was relaxed at first, but when the situation intensified, I took it more seriously,” said Isidora Milatovic. “It is difficult for me to get used to it. This is the first time I am faced with situation like this. I spend my time learning, so I don't really do any other activities. I sincerely hope that the situation will stabilize and that we will soon return to a normal life. ”
Her peer Danilo Kujacic explained: “I accept quarantine well, since my usual lifestyle is not much different. I spend most of my day at the computer. I go out with friends in the evening or occasionally, go out for training. I think the current situation is exaggerated and not half as significant as the media present it.”
A significant number of young people, according to their own testimonies, comply with the recommendations and stay at home. Survey has found that watching series and movies, playing games on a phone/computer and using social networks are three of the most common activities young people currently do. According to collected data, every tenth respondent takes an online course, learns a foreign language and (or) reads extracurricular literature.
Milica Radulovic stated that the current situation disturbed everyone's usual activities, but, as she said, we must accept this way of life. “We all eagerly wait for measures to ease, but until that happens, we must use this time as good as possible. I suggest that we all devote this time to ourselves: by doing home-based training, reading a book, studying, but also communicating with friends through social networks. If after doing all of these you still have spare time, you can always watch a series or a movie…”, said our interviewee. And she concluded: “I really miss gatherings in the neighbourhood, but these measures must be respected if we want to get back to our old habits as soon as possible.”
In our survey, high school students cited several common reasons why they went out: a third of surveyed participants went out to shop at stores and pharmacies; a quarter for a walk or training in nature; every fifth for meeting and hanging out with friends… Boris Janjusevic said: “It was strange at first, but over time I got used to it. I spend my time doing homework, but of course I play games more than usual. As usual I spare an hour, an hour and a half of time for training.”
Given the new circumstances, interaction between students and professors in the school classroom has been replaced by online teaching, a platform and a website. Survey showed that most students did assignments, presentations, essays which professors gave, as well as that they studied provided resources. However, based on the results, two-thirds of high school students were not satisfied with online teaching, since, as they said, new way of work, to which they were not used to, required more work, effort and time than “traditional” class attendance.
Almost everyone missed social life, going out and socializing (without set limits). “I am very bored in quarantine and it has been difficult for me to find anything interesting to do”, notes S.P. who wanted to remain anonymous. “I usually play games, write songs, listen to music or do my homework. The current situation has great impact on us and our psyche. When all this is over, the consequences will be visible in our country, as well as in the whole world”, he said.
On the other hand, a smaller number of respondents said that they did not have any difficulties during quarantine. They believe that there has not been any other situation in which they would have so much time to devote to themselves and to improve their skills and potentials. Thus, M.P. explained: “I learn languages during quarantine. I try to organize myself well, especially because of my school obligations. Of course, this is not always possible, but I manage. I also watch movies, communicate with friends, and read books. This is a chance to correct most of the mistakes, because time, despite the space barrier, works in our favour. ”
We spoke with Patricia Pobric, a civic activist and Executive Director of the NGO Our Action, about the behaviour of young people in this new situation caused by coronavirus pandemic and in what way they can make useful contribution.
“One who understands young people understands that current situation is most difficult to them. It's still easy for kids to have fun at home with toys and other activities, but young people are, by their nature, very social beings. They like to move, to socialize, go out…Although we consider that they are too much attached to their phones, physical socializing means a lot to them. In general, I think most young people understood the significance of the situation, and that it was accepted with understanding but not with fear. Only young people to whom parents, relatives, and media transferred fear, showed it.”
Pobric however, pointed out that there were also undesirable examples. “It happens that a small number of young men drives their vehicles after curfew, or organize trips and barbecues and do not respect social distancing. My advice to young members of NGO Our Action, from the beginning of quarantine, was to spend time after online school activities not only on games and internet, but also on planting, working on farms, gardens, learning new skills at home and in nature.” Photos prove that some have accepted the advice.
PUBLIC CALL CIN-CG: EMPOWERING RE POPULATION TO ACESS THE LABOR MARKET
Centre for Investigative Journalism of Montenegro (CIN-CG), in the framework of the project:
“Empowering RE population to access the labor market”
(project provided with the financial support of the European Union and the Government of Montenegro)
A PUBLIC CALL
For training in the media industry – 25 interns from RE population
(Training for journalists, cameramen, graphic designers, workers in printing plant and other jobs in electronic, print and online media)
The training will consist of two stages. The first stage includes two-month training for 25 participants, for which fee will be provided. Following the first stage training, the Commission will select five trainees who show the best tendencies for work in the media. A five-month employment contract will be signed with them. The participants will be trained in media work and they will be involved in media production, for which they will receive regular monthly salary.
The Call is open for unemployed members of RE population residing in the territory of Montenegro who completed at least a primary school and are registered with the Employment Agency of Montenegro. Priority will be given to candidates with high school and college degrees.
Interested candidates should send their applications with a CV, confirmation from the records of the Employment Agency of Montenegro and motivational letter by 15/02/2020 at the latest, by e-mail to: email@example.com, or to the address: CIN-CG, Trg nezavisnosti bb, 81000 Podgorica.
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Articles in English
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