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Owner of Croatia's Agrokor on Europe's most wanted fugitives list

Author Maja Garaca
Owner of Croatia's Agrokor on Europe's most wanted fugitives list Ivica Todoric

ZAGREB (Croatia), November 2 (SeeNews) - The owner of Croatia's ailing concern Agrokor, Ivica Todoric, has been put on its list of Europe's most wanted fugitives, an Europol notice reveals.

Todoric is wanted for "corruption, forgery of administrative documents and trafficking therein", according to the notice posted on the website of the European Union's agency for law enforcement cooperation.

The owner of Agrokor is wanted by the Croatian judicial authorities for prosecution because of criminal offences under several articles of the country's penal code: abuse of trust in business dealings; violation of duty to keep commercial and business records; forging official or business documents and instigation, the notice reads.

On October 24, Croatia's Chief State Prosecutor's Office said it has issued a European arrest warrant for Ivica Todoric. Croatia's ministry of the interior told SeeNews at the time that upon receiving the European arrest warrant the country's police has launched measures to track down Todoric at the international level.

Ivica Todoric, his two sons, and 12 business associates are under investigation for suspected criminal offences at Agrokor that led Croatia's largest privately-held concern to the brink of collapse earlier this year.

Under the European arrest warrant, the authorities of any EU member state are expected to arrest and transfer Todoric to Croatia so that he can be put into pre-trial detention, which was ordered by a Zagreb court in October.

The European arrest warrant, applied throughout the EU, replaced lengthy extradition procedures within the EU's territorial jurisdiction. It came into force on January 1, 2004 and is founded on the principle of direct contacts between the judicial authorities.

The Agrokor group employs some 60,000 people throughout the states of the former Yugoslavia.

In April, the Croatian government stepped in to prevent the collapse of the indebted food-to-retail concern by appointing a receiver under a special law governing the management of companies of systemic importance for the country's economy. Todoric was stripped of his managerial rights under the law popularly known as Lex Agrokor but remains owner of the concern.