Montenegro issues international arrest warrant for Atlas Banka’s owner

By bne IntelliNews January 24, 2019

The Montenegrin office of Interpol has issued an international arrest warrant for Dusko Knezevic, the owner of troubled Atlas Banka, who refuses to return to the country and face a month of detention and charges of abuse of office, broadcaster RTCG reported on January 24.

Montenegro’s special prosecution has accused Knezevic of heading a criminal group that organised and executed the laundering of €500mn through Atlas Banka. Knezevic illegally received €1.9mn, prosecutors said.

According to information quoted by RTCG, Knezevic is currently in London and claims to have UK citizenship.

The businessman has accused President Milo Djukanovic of corruption and has claimed a warrant was issued for his arrest upon pressure from a clan related to the president. He claims that the president and his family are trying to take over his businesses and properties along Montenegro’s Adriatic coast.

Atlas Banka was put under temporary administration by the central bank in December along with Invest Banka Montenegro (IBM) as its audit showed that the capital of the two lenders did not comply with the minimum risk requirements. While IBM will go bankrupt, Atlas Banka decided to increase its capital and can be stabilised. The two banks are both owned by Knezevic’s Atlas Group.

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