Arms Dealer on US Blacklist Linked to Cypriot Companies

FILE - An aircraft takes off from Larnaca airport past the control tower, right, Saturday, Oct. 7, 2017, at the southern coastal city of Larnaca, Cyprus. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias)

A Serbian arms dealer just named in US blacklist has been tied to two Cyprus-based companies through which he allegedly negotiated the sale of weapons.

Slobodan Tesic, who spent nearly a decade on the United Nations Travel Ban List for violating UN sanctions against arms exports to Liberia, was included on a ‘malign actors’ list issued by the US government last month.

Tesic “is among the biggest dealers of arms and munitions in the Balkans… In order to secure arms contracts with various countries, Tesic would directly or indirectly provide bribes and financial assistance to officials. Tesic also took potential clients on high-value vacations, paid for their children’s education at western schools or universities, and used large bribes to secure contracts,” the US Treasury Department stated.

That added that he owns or controls two Serbian companies, Partizan Tech and Technoglobal Systems DOO Beograd, as well as “two Cyprus-based companies, Grawit Limited and Charso Limited. Tesic negotiated the sale of weapons via Charso Limited and used Grawit Limited as a mechanism to fund politicians.”

The Cyprus Mail contacted Justice Minister Ionas Nicolaou to ask whether Cypriot authorities were alerted to the blacklist by their US counterparts but got no answer it said, being told he was too busy to talk. The Serbian Embassy didn’t call back, it said.

The Mail left a message with the Serbian embassy in Nicosia, which did not get back.

Both companies said to be linked to Tesic are still active, according to data publically available on the website of the Registrar of Companies.