Nedim Uzunovic Bought Shares in Bosnalijek with Bosnalijek’s Money

  • Receivables from the Russian company Grama assigned to Maksimus Holding
  • Uzunovic’s business partners are the beneficiaries of the deal
  • Bosnalijek’s money transferred to Uzunovic’s lawyer, Salomon J. Augapfel, whose firm acquired a stake in Bosnalijek
  • Czech Close Ville is a new proxy for Bosnalijek’s director

Using questionable contracts, Bosnalijek’s director Nedim Uzunovic funneled millions of euro through a network of affiliated companies to buy shares in Bosnalijek, reveals the business portal CAPITAL.

The documents obtained by our editorial board prove that thanks to a crafty scheme Uzunovic was able to acquire a stock in the pharmaceutical company he heads.

Following the decision of the Thirteenth Arbitration Appeal Court in St.Petersburg that resulted in the loss of 11.5 million euro owed to Bosnalijek by the distributor Imperia Sodruzhestvo (CAPITAL was the first to report about it), the tangle of companies affiliated with Uzunovic began to unravel.

According to the documents in our possession, in October 2015, while the government was still a shareholder of Bonsnalijek, Uzunovic signed a factoring agreement with the Slovenian company Maksimus Holding. The agreement authorized Maksimus to claim the debt of nearly 10 million euro from the Russian company Grama.

Maksimus had an external partner, the German company 4ever Youth UG, which received its piece of the pie a month later.

A well-informed source of CAPITAL says that there were no economic reasons to assign the debt: Maksimus Holding had neither assets nor active bank guarantees. However, this fact didn’t prevent Bosnalijek’s managers from signing the aforementioned deal of the century.

An addendum to the agreement specified the cost of services rendered by Maksimus at 2.2 million euro, that is 22% higher than the sum of the assigned debt.

On December 4, 2015, when Grama’s debt had been paid off, Maksimus Holding issued an invoice for its services, and the entire fee was transferred by Bosnalijek.

Benefits for Uzunovic’s business partners

The beneficiaries of the deal, as seen from the documents, are Uzunovic and companies and individuals affiliated with him.

In particular, out of 2.2 million euro received by Maksimus Holding approximately 300,000 euro were transferred to the German company  4ever Youth UG. There were four transactions in the time period between December 18, 2015 and March 10, 2016: three transactions per 75,000 euro and one transaction worth 76,050 euro.

The basis for the payment was the agreement signed on October 2, according to which 4ever Youth UG was obliged to provide Maksimus Holding with assistance in establishing contacts with clients and preparing documents pertaining to the collection of debt from the Russian company Grama.

“The subject of the agreement looks bogus. Obviously, what we have here is a sham contract needed only to cover the payments to 4ever Youth UG,” says CAPITAL’s source.

It all makes sense once you know that the director and owner of the German company is Slobodan Puric, a long-time business partner of Bosnalijek’s CEO Nedim Uzunovic. Both used to be directors at Pro-Life Solution.

“Puric, Uzunovic and Oleg Buchnev, the husband of Valentina Buchneva, who in her turn is the head of Bosnalijek’s Moscow office,  are also co-owners of the German company Invent Production UG,” clarifies our source.

Maksimus Holding continued payments to people connected with Uzunovic. In July 2016, 150,000 Swiss francs were paid to Solomon J. Augapfel, a Swiss lawyer .

This payment was covered by an agreement signed on July 21. According to the agreement, Augapfel was supposed to provide Maximus Holding with legal and commercial consulting on international investments.

How Bosnalijek’s money ended up at Uzunovich’s lawyer

Just a week later, on July 27, 2016, Maksimus Holding signed a fiduciary agreement with the Swiss company Inwestfinanzierung AG on the investment of one million euro. The agreement was updated with an addendum on September 7, according to which GEHU Beteiligungen AG, a Swiss company, became the recipient of the funds.

Of particular interest in connection with this series of transactions is one fact that is difficult to perceive as a mere coincidence, namely: it was on September 7 that Augapfel established Felicertes Commerse AG, which in January 2017 became the owner of a 1.7% stake in Bosnalijek.

“On December 27, 2016, the Bosnalijek Supervisory Board made a decision to issue additionally one million shares, which were placed by private subscription. This move was initiated by Nedim Uzunovic and Edin Dizdar. Haden SA, the largest shareholder of Bosnalijek, considers this decision illegal and is currently disputing it at the cantonal court of Sarajevo,” adds CAPITAL’s well-informed source.

According to him, the circle is closed here, in other words — there are serious reasons to believe that Augapfel’s Felicertes Commerce AG bought out its stake in Bosnalijek with money withdrawn from Bosnalijek through Maximus Holding.

“Bosnalijek’s managers transferred millions of KM to affiliated companies using debt assignment agreements. The beneficiaries of all the suspicious transactions have close ties with Nedim Uzunovic, are his business partners, including the new shareholder of Bosnalijek, Salomon Augapfel and his Swiss company Felicertes Commerse AG, ” concludes the source.

Czech Close Ville sro replaces Maksimus Holding

After Maksimus Holding had accomplished its mission, in March 2017, the Russian office of Bosnalijek notified its largest distributors Protek and Puls that their receivables were assigned to Close Ville sro, a Czech company. The Russian companies were instructed to transfer funds owed to Bosnalijek to the accounts of Close Ville.

According to available evidence, Protek and Puls have already started paying to Close Ville’s accounts.

“Close Ville was established in 2007 as a real estate company. In February this year it was acquired by the Cyprus company Casalo Enterprises Ltd. We seriously fear that this is yet another managerial tool for withdrawing funds from Bosnalijek, similar to what Maksimus Holding was in 2015-2016,” says the source.

He also emphasizes that Uzunovic, Valentina Buchneva (the director of the Russian office), executive director Rezija Pezzo, and financial director Adnan Hadzic are responsible for the suspicious deals with the Czech company.

On July 18, the editorial board of CAPITAL sent questions regarding the suspicious transactions to Bosnalijek’s director, but he was unavailable due to vacation. As of today we still have not received any answer.

Source: CAPITAL, 24.08.2017