Serbia: Lawyer Testifies to Opening 150 Offshore Companies for Darko Saric

Published: 23 June 2016

darkoDarko Šarić at court (Photo: KRIK)

By Joshua Futtersak

Attorney Milan Lazarevic testified that he opened 150 offshore accounts on the behest of convicted Serbian cocaine kingpin and alleged money smuggler Darko Saric, according to KRIK, the Crime and Corruption Reporting Network. 

The testimony comes during Saric’s epically lengthy money laundering trial on Monday, which has been ongoing since 2011. Lazarevic admitted to opening up companies for Predrag Milosavljevic, an associate of Saric who was arrested for money laundering in 2010.  

One of the companies opened by Lazarevic was  “Financial Angels,” which was later used to allegedly launder money by Milosavljevic and Saric.

"I provided [the] services of establishing offshore companies. For the accused Predrag Milosavljevic, I founded the company, ‘Financial Angels'. Ownership of this company is not disguised, nor is he ever asked for any illegal services. The opening of such a company is not a criminal act, "said Lazarevic. 

Milosavljevic was arrested in March 2010 for money laundering. According to the indictment, he formed offshore companies in Delaware, USA, but was covering the real owner, Darko Saric. 

Darko Saric was convicted of cocaine smuggling in July 2015 and sentenced to 20 years, but has been on trial for money laundering since 2011. It is believed that Saric took the billions he earned from drug smuggling and bought shares of Serbian companies.

Since his money laundering trial began, it has had to be restarted twice, both times due to judges needing to be replaced.