Three Bosnians, including the former intelligence agency head, were sanctioned by the U.S. on Wednesday for allegedly undermining democratic institutions and risking peace and stability in the Western Balkans.
Assistant Secretary of the Treasury Brian Nelson stated that the men “constitute a danger to regional stability, institutional credibility, and the ambitions of people seeking democratic administration.”
The statement claimed that former Bosnia and Herzegovina Intelligence Security Agency chief Osman Mehmedagic manipulated the state-owned telecoms business to benefit the Party of Democratic Action.
Former tripartite president Bakir Izetbegovic leads the SDA, which represents Muslim Bosniaks.
The Treasury statement stated Mehmedagic gathered “cellular activity” on lawmakers not associated with the SDA and used his “position, threats and contacts” to pressure a coalition of eight other parties to support the SDA.
“There is also credible information that Mehmedagic has engaged with criminal networks for personal and party benefit,” U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken stated. “Mehmedagic and SDA have a tendency of using authority for personal and party advantage.”
Mehmedagic resigned in February. He disappeared.
The Treasury claimed Edin Gacanin led a criminal cartel involved in narcotics trafficking “across numerous nations,” money laundering, and involvement with a U.S.-sanctioned transnational criminal organization.
“One of the world’s most infamous drug smugglers” was Gacanin. He disappeared.
The statement stated Dragan Stankovic, a subordinate of Milorad Dodik, president of Republika Srpska, the Bosnian Serb-dominated entity, was sanctioned for advocating a bill to “usurp” public property in violation of the national constitution, a court order, and a 1995 settlement that ended a four-year conflict.
Stankovic and Dodik did not react to inquiries.
The designations restrict the three’s property and prevent Americans from doing business with them.