Croatia was shaken on Wednesday night by a large privatization scandal after it emerged that police had arrested six people because of their illegal attempts to privatize the largest Croatian food company "Podravka". The local media has immediately called scandal as Vegetageyt" after the popular condiment produced by the company while the opposition has urged the Croatia Economy Minister Damir Polanchets to resign.
Police declined to give details about the detainees, but according to the Croatian media among them are the current and former CEO of Podravka Zdravko Shestak and former CEO Darko Marinats which were arrested as they tried to redeem the state shares of the company with money stolen from the assets of the company itself.
Among the other detainees are the members of the Podravka’s board Josip Romats Sasha Pavlovic, as well as the co-owner and manager of the financial house of Varazdin Milan Horvat and the Director of the Split-based food company SMS Srdjan Mladinich who were also involved in the financial machinations of the Podravka executives.
Since 2006 the band has transferred nearly 250 million kunas (EUR34 million) to its offshore accounts. All the money was transferred as loans for other companies with their planned purchase of 25% of "Podravka", which is owned by the state.
If convicted, the detainees can be sentenced up to 10 years in prison. According to Croatian analysts this is the first major corporate scandal in Croatia with an involvement of such a big company as "Podravka" which turnover in 2008 amounted to nearly 510 million euros
Source: newsroom - meattradenewsdaily.co.uk
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