As Morski writes, Ivan Cermak has bought one of the most beautiful villas on the entire Opatija Riviera, Villa Lenac, from its formerly Russian owners. In an interview with Index Investigation, he confirmed the purchase, but showed little willingness to discuss any numbers or prices. However, Index investigations (istrage) then came into possession of the sales contract, which shows the price of almost 94 million kuna for the villa located at the entrance to Volosko.
It is believed that Ivan Cermak probably paid for the now ex-Russian villa in cash
The previous Russian owners bought the villa way back in 2009 for 5.5 million euros and then renovated it, it spans about 500 square metres, but the complex itself covers 4420 square metres. Part of it is located within a dense pine forest, and it is located on the cape itself, with its own access to the sea and beach. The villa was most likely paid for in cash by Ivan Cermak because there is no loan agreement to speak of.
Villa Lenac was the former residence of JNA general Mirko Lenac, and up until 2009, the Lenac and Cosic families both used that villa, before selling the building to Russian investors. Back at theattime, it was written that the buyer was a Russian national named Ljudmila Rovenska, who purchased the villa through the company Keldan d.o.o. As such, Keldan d.o.o. bought the building and paid an additional two million kuna to the City of Opatija in order to get their hands on a garden plot as well. All together, along with the renovation of the villa, the entire thing cost a little more than 10 million euros.
“It’s true, I bought it, but I wouldn’t want to sit here and talk about the price”
”I wouldn’t want to sit here now and discuss the price, because the price isn’t being discussed publicly anyway,” retired general Ivan Cermak told Index, adding that he is extremely satisfied with the purchase of such a property, which is about only around an hour and a half’s drive from the City of Zagreb. ”I’ll certainly use it more often,” Ivan Cermak said at the end.
Although he didn’t want to talk about the price, Index managed to get its hands on the villa’s sales contract in which the price of 12.5 million euros was indicated, including the movables that are also on the property. It can be concluded from the purchase agreement that Ivan Cermak didn’t use any sort of loan, it is also clear that he had to pay the amount within one month of signing the purchase agreement. The sales contract was signed on June the 23rd of this year, and Ivan Cermak’s wife Mirjana is also the co-owner of the villa.
Who is Ivan Cermak? From an air conditioner repairman to one of the richest Croatian nationals.
Ivan Cermak was born in 1949 in the City of Zagreb, where he completed his primary and vocational education, and in the early seventies he was engaged in servicing air conditioners. In addition to servicing air conditioners, he later started doing other kinds of jobs, and he even opened a boutique and became a co-owner of The Best disco in the Jarun area of the city.
He got into doing big business back in the 90s, when he entered politics and oil trading. He joined HDZ in 1990, allegedly at the invitation of Franjo Tudjman himself, and helped them organise party rallies and similar tasks. He soon became the vice-president of the HDZ Executive Committee and Tudjman’s very own advisor in Pantovcak. He was also assistant to the Minister of Defense from 1991 to 1993 under Gojko Susek, after which he moved to the position of Minister of Trade, Shipbuilding and Energy, but he didn’t stay in that position for even one year.
After the Operation Storm (Oluja) was successful, and immediately after the liberation of Knin, Tudjman appointed Ivan Cermak commander of the Knin military district, where his task was to establish normal life after the end of the war operations there. However, serving that function later led him to the docks of the Hague Court. After a multi-year trial, in April 2011, Cermak was finally acquitted, according to Index investigations.
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