Montenegrin President Milo Djukanovic and his son Blazo created an extensive network of legal entities in at least five countries, through which they have secretly managed their capital and businesses, the Network for Affirmation of the NGO Sector (MANS) said on Monday, referencing the Pandora Papers.
On Sunday, the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists published leaked information on the alleged financial secrets of over 35 current and former world leaders, as well more than 330 politicians and officials from various countries. The data is contained in some 11.9 million documents from 14 financial services companies around the world.
“Milo and [his son] Blazo Djukanovic signed secret management agreements in 2012, hiding behind an intricate network of affiliated companies from the United Kingdom, Switzerland, the British Virgin Islands, Panama and Gibraltar. The son of the Montenegrin president took advantage of this network,” the NGO said.
On June 21, 2012, Milo and Blazo Djukanovic founded the Victoria Trust and Capecastel Trust in partnership with CM Skye 2 (PTC) Limited, registered in the British Virgin Islands, the Pandora Papers showed, as reported by MANS. Montenegro does not allow trusts, and they are typically opened in offshore destinations to hide the real owners of the property, the NGO said.
After its foundation, the network of companies began to develop and expand to other countries, according to the investigation.
In September 2021, Djukanovic admitted that he had founded one of these legal entities, but claimed that he had done so when he held no government post. He said he had transferred the company to his son as soon as he became prime minister at the end of 2012.
However, the published documents indicate that the relationship between President Djukanovic and the offshore companies continued well after 2012, the NGO said.
Djukanovic’s Democratic Party of Socialists has since called the investigation a “fabricated scam.” At the same time, Montenegrin Prime Minister, Zdravko Krivokapic, supported the investigation and urged the country’s law enforcement agencies to launch a probe into the matter.