Robert Golob really did put Slovenia on the international map of countries. Just like he promised. But not with good business results or good practices, which is what we saw during the term of the Janez Janša government, when Slovenia was among the top countries in the international rankings. Golob has put us on the map because we are becoming the leaders in crime committed by the highest government officials, or rather – by him. Perhaps this is the reason why Golob has recently avoided travelling abroad.
There are certain indications that the Gen-I energy company scandal of the opening of bank accounts and the transfer of cash, including through various money mules, is gaining momentum. There are also references being made to CCTV footage in individual banks, including Raiffeisen Bank in Romania or, more specifically, Bucharest, even though Golob claimed until recently that he opened his Gen-I account in a remote Romanian village. It turns out that this account was opened at a Raiffeisen bank branch in Bucharest, not far from Gen-I’s headquarters. Some have even been mentioning the possibility of Robert Golob being questioned by certain investigators abroad. According to some sources, Golob is very afraid of the possible disclosure of the camera footage from the Romanian bank.
On this week’s episode of the show “Tema Dneva” (Topic of the Day), the guest, journalist Luka Perš from the web portal Prava.si, started by saying that this story has been developing since last April. In the meantime, he said, Kosovo, Albanian, Serbian, Montenegrin and some Slovenian media outlets have come up with enough information to piece the story together. In fact, between the years 2015 and 2022, a subsidiary of the Gen-I energy company (GEN-I Beograd) carried out two banking operations with the Kosovo umbrella company of the Kosovo ambassador to Croatia, Martin Berishaj‘s company MB Consulting, and its Montenegrin subsidiary. “During this time, Berishaj made several cash withdrawals, turning traceable money into untraceable money. The important fact is that the person involved in all of this a very important member of the ruling party of Kosovo, the Prime Minister of Kosovo, Albin Kurti.”
There is no control over the money flows
Perš found that between 2015 and 2021, data on the Erar, which is an online application for insight into the financial operations of state bodies and state-owned companies, showed that nearly 81 million euros were transferred from the Slovenian umbrella company Gen-I to subsidiaries in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Serbia. The problem, he says, is that neither the state nor anyone else actually has control over where this money has gone. And there is a sea of doubts and questions about what this money has been used for. “The Kosovo and Albanian media claim that some of this money ended up in the election campaign of Albin Kurti. Some time ago, we also saw a documentary by the “Insajderi” (Insiders) media outlet which suggests that some of this money may have ended up in the election campaign ahead of the April parliamentary elections in Slovenia,” Perš added.
During the Kurti government, Gen-I was one of the major winners of state aid from the Kosovo government
When asked why either Golob or Gen-I would be interested in financing the Kosovo Prime Minister, Perš began by explaining that Gen-I has had a very long presence in the Kosovo market. Since the beginning of their independence. “As has been revealed, Gen-I has in the past been branded as part of the Serbian energy mafia by the current ruling party in Kosovo. In fact, it has been revealed that Gen-I Belgrade carried out 82 million euros worth of electricity resale deals between 2008 and 2013, working with the notorious Serbian company Rudnap, which is said to be controlled by the old forces from the former Yugoslavia. If we link the operations in Kosovo and Macedonia, we can see that Gen-I was a so-called subcontractor of Rudnap. As both Erar’s and Rudnap’s records show, they were buying electricity at that time and reselling it to Kosovo. It also came out that during the current Kurti government, Gen-I was one of the major winners of the Kosovo government’s state aid in overcoming the energy crisis,” Perš explained.
Regarding the Slovenian media coverage, Perš said that the mainstream media had remained silent on the affair. “What is more, it can be argued that through the so-called, now on-call media of Prime Minister Robert Golob, the online media outlet “Necenzurirano” (Uncensored), they wanted to turn the story in a different direction, claiming that the previous Prime Minister Janez Janša and the Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić are responsible for all this, and that in reality, it is just a witch-hunt. But in actuality, this is one of the investigations by the Office for the Prevention of Money Laundering against one of Dragan Šolak‘s companies. However, the Necenzurirano web portal is now looking for ways to divert attention away from this problem. What is more, they wrote that it was a “watergate” affair. But ask yourself who was the person with the most power from 2006 to November 2021, who ran the company Gen-I. It was Robert Golob,” Perš pointed out.
Asked whether it was a coincidence that Foreign Minister Tanja Fajon had recently visited Priština and Serbia, Perš replied that, of course, everyone could make their own judgements on this. However, he said it was a bit strange that the minister was visiting these countries at the very time when the affair exploded in the Western Balkan media. The fact is that the Serbian, Kosovan, Albanian and Montenegrin media are writing extensively about Golob’s misdeeds. “They have been actively writing about and investigating this affair since last year. Step by step, the story is unravelling, and more or less all the facts are clear,” he explained. Perš agrees with the claims made by some that the story of the arrest of Russian spies in Ljubljana is an attempt to cover up Golob’s affair. “We can see that the government is constantly trying to divert attention from this issue. The problem for them is that the affair has exploded in the media of the Western Balkans, and they will simply not be able to cover it up.”