British Virgin Islands Business News

The analysis of the latest events in BVI and worldwide, affecting BVI business environment; facts and statistics on BVI International Business Companies involved in global business activities.

Friday, August 08, 2008

BVI Financial system used by the US State Department to pay 5 million reward to anonymous offshore recipient

According to RIA news and Serbian newspaper Press, the US State Department paid $5 million as a reward to an anonymous, offshore recipient for assisting in the capture of former leader of Bosnian Serbs and the wartime Bosnian Serb president Radovan Karadzic. By the official reports, he was arrested in Belgrade on July 21 after more than 10 years on the run.

Payment number RW 20-036-008/2 was made on July 23, two days after the news of Karadzic's arrest was released, to an anonymous offshore account in the British Virgin Islands. According to Western diplomatic sources, the payment to the BVI account was made as a reward for information that allowed to catch the fugitive.

The money is said to be paid by the State Department's Rewards for Justice Program, which usually pays for information that helps prevent terrorist attacks. The Rewards for Justice Program earlier claimed that the reward had been paid for assistance in the killing of an Afghan militant leader.

The Serbian paper informed that the only such case close in time to the $5 mln payment to the unknown BVI company was the killing of Al Qaeda's main chemical and biological weapons expert Abu Khabab al Masri. However, the terrorist was killed at least four days after the reward was paid, but on the same day as Radovan Karadzic was caught, and this was confirmed by British secret agents.

Karadzic's attorney said he suspected the people who caught Karadzic three days before the official arrest could have received this reward to the BVI offshore account.

The arrest of the former Bosnian Serb leader was one of the conditions set by the European Union for Serbia's membership. Karadzic is the most prominent war crimes suspect to appear in the Hague since Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic.

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