US Sanctions Bosnian Serb Leader’s Children for Corruption
The U.S. imposed sanctions on the children of Bosnian Serb leader Milorad Dodik and four companies under their management, highlighting concerns that the Bosnian Serb region, known as Republika Srpska (RS), is increasingly resembling a Dodik family enterprise rather than a political entity within Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH).
The U.S. Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) said on Friday that Dodik's adult children, Igor and Gorica, "facilitate Dodik's ongoing corruption in Bosnia and Herzegovina's RS entity, allowing him to siphon public funds from the RS and enrich himself and his family at the expense of BiH citizens and functional governance in the country."
"With the financial and political support of the individuals and entities designated today, Dodik has engaged in corruption that ensures his personal financial and political stability at the expense of BiH citizens living in Republika Srpska," Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, Brian E. Nelson, emphasized.
OFAC noted that since 2021, Dodik had increased his children's involvement in political and business activities within the RS. The extent of the Dodik family's corruption raised concerns among nations interested in providing foreign investment to the RS, causing some to refrain from doing so as they believed that financial assistance would likely benefit Dodik and his family rather than RS institutions.
The OFAC statement further claimed that Dodik's Alliance of Independent Social Democrats (SNSD), along with both he and his son, "conspired to bribe political officials, polling station members, and election observers" to manipulate the 2022 state and entity elections.
"Igor [Dodik] engaged in bribery of opposition politicians, who were offered political appointments in exchange for critical information and election observer positions at polling locations," while Gorica [Dodik] was "involved in handling political and business activities for her father, including owning several entities that receive substantial RS government assistance at Dodik's direction."
Therefore, both Igor and Gorica Dodik were sanctioned by OFAC pursuant to a 2021 Executive Order (E.O.) 14033 for having materially assisted, sponsored, or provided financial, material, or technological support for Dodik.
In addition to the Dodik siblings, the U.S. imposed sanctions on their companies: Global Liberty d.o.o. Laktaši; Agro Voće d.o.o. Laktaši; Agape Gorica Dodik i Ivana Dodik s.p. Banja Luka; and Fruit Eco d.o.o. Gradiška.
These businesses operate in Bosnia and Herzegovina in the restaurant and wholesale materials sectors and have received RS public assistance due to their control by Dodik's family.
OFAC stated that these sanctions build on previous U.S. sanctions and visa restrictions, which aim to promote accountability for individuals contributing to corruption and undermining democratic processes or institutions. They are part of broader U.S. efforts to promote peace, stability, and functional democratic governance in the Western Balkans region.
Milorad Dodik himself was designated by the U.S. on January 5, 2022, for being responsible for or complicit in violations of the Dayton Peace Agreement and for corrupt activities. He was also sanctioned by U.S. authorities in 2017 for violating the 1995 peace agreement.
OFAC emphasized that Milorad Dodik had accumulated a personal fortune through graft, bribery, and other forms of corruption, using his official position in BiH and a network of personal connections and enterprises, while employing “ethno-nationalistic rhetoric” to “advance these political goals and divert attention from his corrupt activities.”