Croatian Entrepreneur “Stars” in Paradise Papers

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Danko Končar is one of the wealthiest Croats.

The Paradise Papers have revealed the name of the first Croat involved. His name is Danko Končar, and he is one of the wealthiest Croats. Journalists from Finland have explored Končar’s business dealings in detail since it is in that country that the mining companies Afarak and Kermas have their seats, and Končar uses them for many of his business operations, reports on November 7, 2017.

Afarak and Kermas have majority stakes in chromium and zinc mines in South Africa and iron factories. In addition to Finland, they have offices in Malta and South Africa. As quoted by, it is possible that Končar has hidden his influence in the company for years, although it is a company whose shares are traded on the Helsinki Stock Exchange. Because of this, it is possible that Končar has made a breach of the stock exchange rules. The shares of Afarak Group, formerly Ruukki Group, are also listed on the London Stock Exchange, and the company has almost 7,000 Finnish shareholders.

Končar has reportedly used privileged information, but he denies all the charges. The Finnish media write that their research has revealed that Končar used a series of tax havens. It is also said that minority shareholders have been in conflict with Končar in the last few months. The documents revealed by the Paradise Papers show the full scope of Končar’s influence in the company. Although he officially holds about 27 percent of the company, it is probable he actually controls about 70 percent of the shares.

The Finnish media describe Končar as a very secretive millionaire, who allegedly owns hundreds of millions of euros worth of real estate, and add that his name was also mentioned in the Panama Papers affair.

Paradise Papers is a name for 13.4 million documents which were received by Süddeutsche Zeitung newspaper, which previously published the Panama Papers as well. Many of the papers relate to a law firm which provides corporate services with offices from Bermuda to Mauritius. Millions of documents cover decades of offshore business operations from 1950 to 2016 and expose global cash flows which have not been known to the general public until now.

Danko Končar was born in 1942 in Zagreb. He graduated in electrical engineering in 1966, then worked at AS Inženjering and Vjesnik in the late-1960s. In the early 1970s, he worked for Jugoturbina Commerce, and in 1975 he was appointed the head of the Business Engineering division. He was later arrested and charged with receiving bribes and robbing state property and sentenced to 12 years in prison. He served the penalty from 1976 to 1983, when he was released.

He disappeared for almost two decades and returned to Croatia as a multimillionaire. He worked intensively in Russia, where he bought a mine, and his business expanded to a number of other countries. In Croatia, he invested in shipyards and real estate. Today his fortune is allegedly estimated at several billion kunas.

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