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Several Offshore Jurisdictions Implicated In Milosevic Investigation

by Ulrika Lomas, Tax-News.com, Brussels

11 June 2002


Reporting on the trial of former Yugoslavian dictator, Slobodan Milosevic, the Gibraltar-based Iberia News service has revealed that the jurisdiction is one of around 50 countries (both offshore and on) implicated in a 'secret financial network' established in order to facilitate illegal arms deals.

Quoting Hague sources, the newspaper announced that bank accounts in Austria, Cyprus, Germany, Greece, Guernsey, the Isle of Man, Jersey, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Monaco, Singapore and Switzerland were all allegedly used to make significant cash transfers.

However, according to a report presented at the former Yugoslav president's war crimes trial, in the Hague, a Gibraltar registered company was also implicated. Iberia News revealed this week that the prosecutor's documents named Aviatrend, established in Gibraltar in 1994 as one of the recipients of Milosovic's laundered funds.

The report goes on to announce that suspected Russian arms dealer, Valery Cherny was one of Aviatrend's main shareholders, and that the company has been linked several times in the past to major arms deals.

The timing of the report's release is unfortunate, coming as it does in the middle of an apparent campaign on the part of the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office to blacken the jurisdiction's name.

'With Gibraltar's name already being tarnished by claims of allowing money laundering and smuggling to take place, both of which have been dismissed as being part of a 'sleaze campaign', the official documents presented at the Hague merely add to the problems being faced by Gibraltar as the burdens associated with being an offshore centre begin to take (their) toll,' Iberia News lamented on Monday.


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