Arrested Agrokor Affair Suspects Return to Work, Praise Ante Ramljak

Lauren Simmonds

Praise for Ante Ramljak as two suspects arrested in the Agrokor affair return to work.

The Agrokor crisis shook Croatia to its core and threatened complete economic collapse. The largest and most ecominically significant privately owned company in the country had been brought to its knees, by its own management. The crisis caused a political earthquake and saw the MOST-HDZ coalition break up in an extremely messy divorce, and the company that employed 60,000 people was on its last legs, drained and tired, taking the people who relied so heavily on it down the very same path. The passing of Lex Agrokor saw Ivica Todorić, who claims he was forced to sign the law under blackmail, surrender control, and the whirlwind of events that followed couldn’t have been thought up by even the most imaginative (or drugged up) author.

As Index writes on the 27th of November, 2017, two suspects in the messy Agrokor affair who had been arrested a month and a half ago have returned to work. One suspect, Mislav Galić, is still the president of Jamnica, while another suspect, Damir Kuštrak, one of the few arrested individuals who found himself on the receiving end of Ivica Todorić’s acid tongue and not defended by the former Agrokor boss, advises Ante Ramljak, according to a source close to the company who spoke to Index.

Galić attended a conference in Vodice where he praised the government and Agrokor’s government appointed extraordinary commissioner Ante Ramljak, stating that the creation and the subsequent passing of the Lex Agrokor law had saved Jamnica.

“If the government hadn’t appointed a commissioner, it wouldn’t be possible to talk about Jamnica’s business today,” said Galić, who was arrested on October the 16th, 2017, as part of a major police action regarding the Agrokor affair. Galić is otherwise the eighth suspect in the Agrokor affair.

He participated in a panel discussion with Svjetlana Stanić (Stanić Group) and Srećko Nakić (Atlantic), which was moderated by communications expert Bozo Skoko, who spoke with Aljoš Roksandić on the topic of a  communication strategy for Agrokor’s former majority owner Ivica Todorić, who currently resides in London after paying £100,000 bail to the British authorities who were obliged to detain him by the instruction of a European Arrest Warrant issued for him.

Marko Krajina of Sberbank, otherwise Agrokor’s largest (and most irritated) creditor, also participated in the conference in Vodice, but not at the same time as Galić. Sberbank’s representative said that after the situation with Agrokor, banks had begun following the company’s audit reports much more closely. Investigators in the case suspected that alongside Todoric and numerous other managers, Galić was responsible for the misleading and false disclosure of asset value and revenue overrun, as well as the declaration of false profits.

Index was unfortunately unable to obtain a response directly from Agrokor about the suspects returning to work, but according to the information available, alongside Galić is Damir Kuštrak, and the two are the only ones out of the band of Todorić’s former managers who were kept on by Ante Ramljak.

More concerning still, after leaving Remetinec, Kuštrak had coffee with Deputy Prime Minister Martina Dalić. She of course described this encounter as a coincidental one, with a friend from her college days, but it doesn’t look particularly reassuring to see the deputy prime minister meeting with the fourth suspect in the extremely murky Agrokor affair, an affair in which her name has found itself mentioned multiple times, and not in a shallow sense.

Much like with all the other former high-flyers recently arrested in the Agrokor affair, DORH requested custody for Kuštrak, and the fact that he used the time in which he was released to defend himself to drink coffee with Martina Dalić, is rather unsettling to say the very least.

Investigators looking into Damir Kuštrak have linked him to a series of crimes, from participating in fake profits, to fictitious exchange bills to suppliers, to covert lending to Ivica Todorić himself, who then purchased shares with company money.

Can the water become murkier yet? It seems so.


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