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Tuesday, 13 March, 2001, 14:39 GMT
Cyprus helps trace Milosevic millions
Mladjan Dinkic (right) with Cyprus Foreign Minister Yiannakis Cassoulides
Dinkic (right) has facts and figures to trace the missing money
Yugoslavia's central banker has arrived in Cyprus on the trail of billions of dollars of gold and cash allegedly laundered by former president Slobodan Milosevic.


Cyprus was only one of many countries used by the Yugoslav regime, there is also Switzerland, Germany, England, South Africa, China and Lebanon

Mladjan Dinkic
Mladjan Dinkic said he had a dossier of information that would show that Cyprus was a link in the chain used to siphon state funds out of Belgrade.

"We brought with us certain account numbers, company names, offshore companies, and we will track these," he said, adding that the trail led to Germany, Switzerland, the UK, South Africa, China and Lebanon.

"There is a lot of data we want to track, from 1989 to today."

Gold hunt

In December the Yugoslav National Bank said US Treasury officials had traced $1bn out of an estimated $4bn of Mr Milosevic's treasure chest to secret accounts in Cyprus.

Yugoslavs sign a petition supporting Milosevic's arrest
Belgraders support the plan to charge Milosevic with corruption
The Swiss authorities have also begun investigating the sale of 700kg of gold, alleged to have been smuggled out of Yugoslavia in the last three months of Mr Milosevic's rule.

The proceeds from the sale were transferred to banks in Cyprus and Greece.

Mr Milosevic was forced to cede power shortly after losing Yugoslavia's presidential election in October.

Two weeks ago Serbian prosecutors said they were ready to lay formal charges of corruption against him.

Suitcases of cash

Mr Dinkic said that a close Milosevic ally, Bokra Vucic - head of Cypriot operations at Beogradska Banka - had provided information about "suitcases of cash" taken to Cyprus.

He went on to praise Cyprus for co-operating with the Yugoslav investigation.

The Cypriot authorities froze seven Yugoslav accounts in October at the request of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia.

They froze another 18 accounts last week.

The US State Department appealed on Monday for Cyprus to give the "fullest possible co-operation" to both Belgrade and the tribunal.

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See also:

01 Mar 01 | Europe
Milosevic facing criminal charges
10 Mar 01 | Europe
Milosevic police 'stashed drugs'
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