Suspicious Companies at the Same Address in Istočno Novo Sarajevo Established to Do Business with the State Prison in Vojkovići

In mid-2017, at the site of the construction of the state prison in Vojkovići, the then Minister of Justice of BiH, Josip Grubeša, and the Minister of Justice of the Republic of Serbia, Nela Kuburović, signed a Protocol on the transfer of source code programs. By signing the Protocol, the Ministry of Justice of BiH obtained an unlimited time right to use the application for monitoring the life cycle of prisoners. Six years later, the state prison procured maintenance services for this system from a company engaged in the production and sale of cleaning supplies.

 

By: Sanja Vasković

Cover photo: Glas Srpske

 

The Institute for the Execution of Criminal Sanctions, Detention, and Other Measures in Vojkovići (state prison) issued a tender in October 2023 for maintenance services of the inmate life cycle management information system, with a total value of 102,960 BAM including VAT. The Institute did not request any specific technical specifications from the bidders; the only condition was to possess a “certificate from the company Prozone IT Solution Novi Sad, Serbia confirming that the bidder is authorized to service and maintain the inmate life cycle management application installed in the Institute for the Execution of Criminal Sanctions, Detention, and Other Measures in BiH”.

 

That’s what was stated in the tender documentation.

 

The question arises: how many companies in Bosnia and Herzegovina actually possess this certificate and what are the conditions to obtain it?

 

However, there is one company, located in the passage between buildings in the municipality of Istočno Novo Sarajevo. A padlock has long been on the door, and only upon closer inspection, you realize that it is the company “BETNER” Ltd. This company, established at the end of 2022 and without any employees, was awarded the contract for maintaining the inmate life cycle management application, despite being in the business of selling hygiene products.

 

Foto: SPIN INFO

As expected, “BETNER” Ltd. was the only company that submitted a bid, which was accepted. Interestingly, the bid is of identical value to the estimated amount, approximately 88,000 BAM without VAT, or 102,960 BAM including VAT.

 

Notice of Contract Award

 

It is interesting to note that in the financial audit report of the Ministry of Justice in 2020, it was found that: “The transferred application for monitoring the life cycle of prisoners (source code) has not been recorded in the books of accounts even three years after the transfer”. The recording was not done the following year either.

 

“BETNER” Ltd. – Food, Beverages, Fish, Mollusks, and Information Systems Maintenance

 

We have already mentioned that the company was founded at the end of 2022 and that there are no registered employees at this address.

 

Thus, it is an understatement to say that this suspicious company, unknown even to the residents of the municipality where it is located, will gain access to a unique registry containing a list of convicts, enabling connections with various authorities, primarily courts, prosecutors, and police departments.

 

Regarding the confirmation from “PROZONE IT Solution” Novi Sad that the company “BETNER” is authorized to maintain the inmate life cycle management system, they declined to comment, despite our inquiries.

 

According to available data, the owner of “BETNER” Ltd. is Dejan Kujundžić, and the parent company is also located in Novi Sad. It generates millions in revenue and exclusively deals with professional hygiene maintenance products.

 

We attempted to speak with Director Kujundžić to verify how a company engaged in the production of cleaning supplies maintains the information system in a state prison. However, the voice on the other end of the line, speaking in the Serbian dialect, told us that “the director is rarely in Bosnia”. He also did not respond to our email.

 

Two Companies Linked to the Ministry of Justice at the Same Address

 

Interestingly, at the same address, in the same office, there is another company named “Fair Share”, whose activities are identical to the Sarajevo branch of BETNER, dealing with food, beverages, and similar items.

 

The director of this company is Nedžad Devedžić and the company exclusively operates with the Ministry of Justice, which also oversees the aforementioned Institute for the Execution of Criminal Offenses, Detention, and Sanctions in Vojkovići. The ministry procured gift packages only from this company through direct agreements of up to 6,000 BAM to avoid tender procedures. On the other hand, this company has three employees and generated over 800,000 BAM in revenue in 2022, despite, as we mentioned, having a padlock on the door for months, likely since its registration at this address. But the story doesn’t end there; the owner of “Fair Share” is Dražen Galić, and the same name appears as the owner and director of another company, “KADAL” Ltd. Sarajevo, established in 2019 without active accounts and no data on income and expenses, with only an initial capital of 2,000 BAM.

 

“BETNER” Receives Monthly Revenue from the State Prison

 

The company BETNER Ltd. in Istočno Novo Sarajevo was evidently established to secure contracts from the prison, as they have not collaborated with any other institutions or organisations in Bosnia and Herzegovina since their establishment.

 

In just one year, this company has won 13 tenders from the Institute for the procurement of hygiene products and other professional cleaning supplies, totalling 375,870 BAM. In one tender alone, bags and sacks for the citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina cost 20,000 BAM for the needs of the prison.

 

Interconnected Scheme: “BETNER” – Prison – “Fair Share”

 

Part of the professional cleaning supplies purchased from “BETNER” were procured for the prison laundry. Žurnal info reported that prisoners wash laundry for several Sarajevo hotels on a daily basis and receive compensation for their work. However, the prison authorities refused to disclose which companies are involved in mediating laundry services, who transports and delivers laundry between the hotels and the prison.

 

Journalists from Žurnal found one of these companies, namely “Fair Share”, whose vehicle was parked outside a Sarajevo hotel.

 

It has been previously reported by SPIN Info that the Institute for the Execution of Criminal Offenses, Detention, and Other Measures in Vojkovići collaborates well with selected companies. Since its establishment, the state prison in Vojkovići has entrusted all computer-related services to the company “IBUSINESS”, owned by Dimitrije Dragović. According to data from the portal Akta.ba, in just two years of operation, this public institution has awarded contracts worth 2,684,778 BAM without VAT, or 3,141,190 BAM including VAT, to “IBUSINESS”.

 

Siniša Perković, the director of the Institute for the Execution of Criminal Offenses, Detention, and Other Measures in Bosnia and Herzegovina, did not respond to our inquiries.

 

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