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From: petar <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
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Sent: Wednesday, December 19, 2001 2:37 PM
Subject: National Post // O DINASTIJI KARIC

Does anybody have the proper name for this kind of people ??? Boba

BESKICMENJACI,POLTRONI, podguzne muve, dupeuvlakaci i sta jos? -Vidanovic
Rich Serb tried to buy a life in Canada

Isabel Vincent
National Post

A recent Serb news magazine heralds the twilight of the Karic dynasty in the
face of corruption charges.

Jean Chrétien embraces Dragomir Karic and his wife, Hafa.

Bogoljub Karic

TORONTO - Bogoljub Karic, the Serbian tycoon and Canadian landed immigrant
who was indicted last week for commercial crimes in Yugoslavia as part of
that country's biggest investigation into corruption under former Yugoslav
leader Slobodan Milosevic, likes to pose for photographs.

After arriving in Canada under the overseas investor program in early 1993,
Mr. Karic quickly sought to become part of the North American establishment.

The handsome, mustachioed businessman attended important political party
fundraisers and met intellectual and business leaders, posing for
photographs with everyone from Jean Chrétien, the Prime Minister, to Bill
Clinton, the former U.S. president, and his wife, Hillary. He contributed to
a number of charities, and made at least one contribution to the Liberal
Party of Canada.

"He [Mr. Karic] and his brothers went to all the important Liberal
fundraisers while they were here," said a Toronto businessman, who did
business with the Karic family and was close to them for several years.
"They were desperately trying to become Canadian citizens, and they tried to
buy their immigration status. They thought they could buy anything."

According to classified Canadian government documents obtained by the
National Post, they almost succeeded.

Mr. Karic scrupulously noted contributions he had made to the Liberal party,
among other charities, on his application for Canadian citizenship in the
mid- 1990s as proof that members of the Karic family had firmly established
themselves on Canadian soil and were committed to being good Canadian

In a letter submitted as part of Mr. Karic's application for citizenship,
his then lawyer, Stephen Green, notes that "Mr. Bogoljub Karic has been a
philanthropist; he has been making numerous contributions and charitable
donations to the following charitable organizations in Canada, and has made
it clear that Canada is his home throughout: Covenant House Building
Campaign, Canada Election (sic), United Way, Liberal Party of Canada, Canada
Police Association, Metro Toronto International Caravan, Big Brothers of
Peel, Serbian Orthodox Church Corp."

All receipts for these contributions are addressed to Dan Jan International
Inc., a company incorporated in Ontario in August, 1992, by Mr. Karic and
his three brothers, Sreten, Zoran and Dragomir.

Mr. Karic is the youngest of the four brothers, who are former tavern
musicians from Kosovo. They started out in business by opening a small
farming implements shop in their hometown of Pec. They built a vast global
fortune with the aid of a small-business loan from the then Communist
government in Yugoslavia in the 1980s.

But in Yugoslavia, government officials say the brothers built their
fortune, rumoured to be close to US$4-billion today, by other means as well.
They have accused Mr. Karic, who will be 48 next month, of profiting
financially from a decade-long friendship with Mr. Milosevic. According to
Mladjan Dinkic, governor of the National Bank of Yugoslavia, Mr. Karic
continues to act, in effect, as the Milosevic family banker, investing part
of the family's money even as Mr. Milosevic awaits trial on genocide and war
crimes charges at a tribunal in The Hague.

Mr. Dinkic also says Mr. Karic transferred large sums of money out of the
country and into Cyprus-based companies he controls. Last month, the
National Bank of Yugoslavia liquidated Mr. Karic's bank in the Yugoslav
capital of Belgrade when it could not pay a US$30-million profit tax imposed
on companies that benefited financially from their ties to Mr. Milosevic.

Mr. Karic has vehemently denied the charges against him. Recently, he went
on national television to say the charges are part of a plot by his
political enemies to undermine his business opportunities in Yugoslavia. In
addition to a bank, Mr. Karic and his brothers own a mobile telephone
company (Mobtel), a television station (BK Television) and a private
university in Yugoslavia. They also have holdings in Russia and in the
United Kingdom.

In the fall of 1992, a few months after the international community imposed
economic sanctions on Yugoslavia over its war in Croatia, Mr. Karic decided
to expand his empire to Canada. In an interview with a reporter from The
Toronto Star, he said he and his brothers wanted to operate their businesses
in Canada "because it's an open and democratic society ... a place of
opportunity." Mr. Karic said Yugoslavia, a communist country that was
rapidly becoming a pariah after the United Nations imposed sanctions in May,
1992, was no longer a good base from which to operate a business empire.

At the time, he said BK Family Holdings, the company owned by the Karic
clan, included everything from textile plants in China and India to banks in
Russia and other parts of the former Soviet Union.

Between 1992 and 1996, Mr. Karic incorporated four companies in Ontario. Dan
Jan International, the company that made contributions to the Liberal Party
of Canada, was, according to a classified Canadian government document
recently obtained by the National Post, "an Ontario- based corporation
involved in numerous business concerns, including the manufacturing and
exporting of cosmetic products as well as the exportation of Canadian
knowledge, technology and equipment in the field of construction."

When they arrived in Canada, Mr. Karic and his wife, Milanka, managed,
apparently, to qualify for Canadian citizenship with lightning speed.
Between Feb. 8, 1993, the day they first arrived in Canada, and Feb. 9,
1993, when a stamp on their passport shows they left the country and entered
England, Mr. Karic and his wife obtained social insurance numbers, Ontario
health cards and credit cards issued by the Canadian Imperial Bank of
Commerce, which also granted the family a mortgage on at least one of their
properties in Southern Ontario.

"It seems inconceivable to me that so many tasks can be accomplished in one
day," says Walter Borosa, the Citizenship Court judge, now retired, who
presided over the Karic family's citizenship application.

When the Karics appeared before him in a Woodbridge, Ont., court on March
12, 1997, Judge Borosa initially granted them citizenship. But, in a recent
interview, he said that when he reviewed their application, he began to have
doubts. A month after their court appearance, Judge Borosa revoked his

In a letter dated April 29, 1997, addressed to Bogoljub and Milanka Karic,
Judge Borosa outlined his decision, noting: "I am left with real doubt that
you established, let alone maintained, sufficient ties with Canada during
your absences to have those absences count as periods of residence under the

In fact, over a three-year period (Feb. 8, 1993, to June 9, 1996), Mr. Karic
was in Canada only 129 days; his wife was here for 102 days during the same
period. Judge Borosa also noted in his decision that although Mr. Karic had
indeed invested in real estate and incorporated companies in Ontario, they
were mostly administered by third parties while the Karics were outside the

"All other attempts to prove permanent settlement in Canada, e.g. purchase
of residence, household effects and services, philanthropic actions, were
carried out at arm's length by third parties," Judge Borosa noted in his
decision. "Equally, other submitted statements in support of the
establishment and maintenance of a Canadian centrality of mode of living are
questionable -- e.g. establishment of personal bank accounts on February 6,
1993, prior to actual arrival in Canada two days later; curiously, Mr. Karic
was able to register with a [Toronto-based] physician a month before initial
arrival to this country."

According to the Toronto businessman who worked with the family for several
years, on at least one occasion the Karics purchased airline tickets in
order to support their citizenship application with proof that they had been
in Canada. The tickets were never used, he said.

In an attempt to get his client's citizenship approved, Mr. Green, the
lawyer retained by the Karics, noted that Mr. Karic and his wife needed to
be absent from Canada in order to attend to their vast financial empire
around the world.

"Since emigrating to Canada, Mr. Karic has incorporated four Ontario-based
corporations and has systematically redirected his overseas enterprises to
his new centre of operation in Canada. Dan Jan International Inc. now has
offices in Moscow. In addition, Mr. Karic is involved in several ongoing
joint projects in Belgrade, Yugoslavia. His personal attention is required
for the negotiation of business deals and the resolution of complex issues.
Mr. Karic has been able to draw on his extensive network of contacts
worldwide to further the goals of his Canadian companies, to the benefit of
Canadian citizens and the Canadian economy."

Furthermore, Judge Borosa was informed that "Mr. Karic was instrumental in
the release of the Canadian peacekeepers being held as hostages in Bosnia"
in the summer of 1995.

During the standoff between UN forces and the Bosnian Serb government in the
spring of that year, the Bosnian Serbs had kidnapped some 400 UN personnel
in May. Although they released most of their prisoners, 12 Canadian UN
peacekeepers, along with 14 others, were still being held hostage a month
later in retaliation for NATO air strikes. It is not clear just how they
were released, although several news reports suggest it happened as a result
of pressure on the Bosnian Serb forces from the Milosevic government.

Judge Borosa said he was impressed with this last detail, but that when he
made enquiries in Ottawa, "I could not find proof" that the Canadians had
been released because of Mr. Karic's actions, he said in an interview

Under the Citizenship Act, if someone has done something extraordinary to
benefit Canada, certain requirements of citizenship could be overlooked,
Judge Borosa said.

It is not clear whether Mr. Karic played a role in the release of the
Canadian peacekeepers, although he was at that time very well connected to
the Milosevic government.

He was also very close to the Milosevic family personally. The Karic family
bought a mansion next to the Milosevic family home in the opulent Dedinje
suburb of Belgrade, where they currently live. Mr. Karic also held a
short-lived Cabinet post in Mr. Milosevic's government, and has said that he
persuaded the former Yugoslav leader to surrender to NATO forces in the
summer of 1999. Mr. Karic said he resigned from his government post because
he was frustrated that his measures to open Serbia up to foreign investors
had not been implemented.

Last fall, when Mr. Milosevic was ousted from power by a popular uprising in
Belgrade, Mr. Karic began publicly distancing himself from his friend.

He also began selling off his assets in Canada. This summer he sold a large
home in Vaughan, the Toronto suburb, that was the family's Canadian

Although Mr. Karic no longer has any assets registered in his name in
Canada, his extended family still lives here.

Their lifestyle, according to the Toronto business associate who knows them,
is quite opulent.

"They behave like movie stars," said the former associate, who did not want
to be identified by name. "They drive Bentleys and Lamborghinis, and eat at
the best restaurants."

According to another former Karic associate, luxury-goods stores on
Toronto's posh Bloor Street have been known to close their doors to other
patrons when members of the Karic clan go shopping.

This exclusivity appears to be part of the family's mystique. A press
release prepared for the Karic family features a coat of arms and traces
their roots back to famous Kosovar merchants of the 18th century.

"In Yugoslavia, people who work for Bogoljub call him 'president,' " said
Mr. Karic's former Toronto business associate. "He drives around in a
motorcade, and when he was in Belgrade, he used to be able to buy anything
he wanted. I think things may be changing now, though."

Part four of four


Other Stories by this Writer

 Oil for food, and money
Canadian connection
Tracking Yugoslavia's dirty money

12/18/2001 -  Oil for food, and money
12/17/2001 -  Canadian connection
12/15/2001 -  Tracking Yugoslavia's dirty money
12/1/2001 -  Book of the week: Holy War, Inc.

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