Corruption in Montenegro

Why Montenegro is unable to pay its debt towards Chinese Banks?

Abazovic: Montenegro loses one highway in 20 years due to cigarette smuggling. And this is just one of the reasons why Montenegro is unable to pay its debt for a new highway to Chinese Banks

A dose of panic and nervousness was introduced among the people who participated in the smuggling

He said that 247 thousand boxes of cigarettes, which were smuggled from the territory of Montenegro without appropriate excise stamps, and seized on the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina, were actually cigarettes that were stolen recently from the Port of Bar.

The Deputy Prime Minister of Montenegro, Dritan Abazović, said that the state budget loses 30-35 million euros a year through cigarette smuggling, which is 350 to 400 million euros in 10 years. 

– It is a business that involves hundreds of millions of euros in traffic and has created a situation where Montenegro loses one highway in 20 years. We do not think that such a practice should be continued. The state has launched investigations that will show who was involved in cigarette smuggling in the previous period and lead to the punishment of those who caused damage to the state budget.

Analyzes also show that there will be aggravating circumstances for companies that operate legally, and which store cigarettes in the port of Bar. The agreement is that all contracts are respected to the end. Some have expired, some expire in February 2021, but this is a measure that must be implemented – said Abazović as a guest in the daily of Television Vijesti.

He said that 247 thousand boxes of cigarettes, which were smuggled from the territory of Montenegro without appropriate excise stamps, and seized on the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina, were actually cigarettes that were stolen recently from the Port of Bar.

– A part of the stolen cigarettes owned by the companies “Aurora” and Atlant Mont “were confiscated and it was located with the help of our administration and the administration in Bosnia and Herzegovina. “Please be patient because these are the most complicated operations in the country. The network of smugglers is large in Montenegro and abroad. We work with the modest help of institutions,” Abazovic said.

Speaking about the decision of the Government to ban the storage of cigarettes in the Port of Bar, Abazović said that it is one of the historical ones, along with the one concerning the Ulcinj Solana.

– Montenegro is recognized as a country that is smuggled and from which 20 percent of smuggled cigarettes are transferred to the countries of the European Union and Great Britain. This Government has decided to put an end to this. The decision to prevent storage in the port of Bar, which is the main smuggling point, is a big blow to the organized crime scene, but that is just the beginning – said Abazović.

He said that the Bureau for Operational Coordination expressed suspicion that they were performing illegal activities in the new tobacco factory, which is why he will also be subject to control.

– I cannot accuse anyone without evidence, but I can say that illegal activities are being carried out in the new tobacco factory and that we have well-founded suspicions. The behavior of the management of the new tobacco is not as it should be. The government and the state must not declare themselves smugglers. This was possible earlier while certain parts of the Government were involved – said Abazović.

He said that the citizens view the fight against cigarette smuggling as a grand finale, and that it will not be completely stopped until there are changes in the prosecution.

– Evidence is being gathered. A dose of panic and nervousness was introduced among the people who participated in the smuggling activities. However, we must establish a new Prosecutorial Council as soon as possible, because without a prosecutor we cannot determine the things that citizens expect – said Abazović.

Many people in Vesna Bratić’s team work against her

Commenting on the controversial decisions of the Minister of Education, Science, Culture and Sports, Vesna Bratic, regarding appointments in education, Abazovic said that there were debatable decisions, such as the appointment of Rade Visnjic, but they were immediately corrected.

– This is a government that certainly makes decisions that are debatable. There was a situation with the director in Bar but the mistake was corrected immediately. I talked to Vesna Bratic and I think that a lot of people in her team work against her. Some do not want to accept the extended hand to work in the interest of Montenegro. It is not a problem to say that something is wrong, but I want to say that only in Montenegro can the appointment of a director cause a storm and cigarette smuggling be relativized. The focus of our citizens is on the wrong things, concluded Abazović.


There is absolutely no doubt that Montenegro is not a victim of Cinese “debt trap” policies as claimed by most (almost all) western media. Previous government and current president of Montenegro (from the same political party) were in charge in Montenegro for more than three decades. During that time Montenegro became a country ruled by mafia. Cigarettes are not the only criminal activity being allowed and protected by Djukanovic and his political party. Montenegrin mafia is well known as very successful smugglers of cocaine from South America. Two cocaine smuggling clans from city of Kotor are literally killing each other on streets of Montenegro and some neighboring countries.

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