Steel magnate Lakshmi Mittal's younger brother Pramod Mittal detained in Bosnia on suspicion of organised crime, abuse of office

  • Pramod Mittal heads the supervisory board at metallurgical coke producer Global Ispat Koksna Industrija Lukavac (GIKIL)

  • GIKIL has been among Bosnia’s biggest exporters

  • The Mittal brothers had split the business in 1994 with elder brother going on to head the world's largest steel manufacturing company ArcelorMittal

Indian businessman Pramod Kumar Mittal, 57, has been detained by police at a company in northern Bosnia on suspicion of organised crime and abuse of office, a prosecutor said on Tuesday.

Mittal, the younger brother of steel magnate Lakshmi Mittal, heads the supervisory board at metallurgical coke producer Global Ispat Koksna Industrija Lukavac (GIKIL), which has been among Bosnia’s biggest exporters, according to a Reuters report.

The case is related to the running of a coking plant in the northeastern town of Lukavac, which Pramod Mittal has co-managed since 2003, an AFP report said. It has a 1,000 employees, an AFP report said.

Prosecutor Cazim Serhatlic, from the Tuzla cantonal prosecution department, said on state television that Mittal, GIKIL’s General Manager Paramesh Bhattacharyy and Razib Dash, a supervisory board member, had been detained.

“They are arrested on suspicion that they have committed a criminal act of organised crime and abuse of office and authority since 2003,” Serhatlic said.

 Steel magnate Lakshmi Mittals younger brother Pramod Mittal detained in Bosnia on suspicion of organised crime, abuse of office

Pramod Mittal, majority owner of Bulgaria's largest steelmaker Kremikovtzi. Reuters

GIKIL was founded in 2003 and is co-managed by Pramod Mittal's Global Steel Holdings and a local public company (KHK).The coking plant in Lukavac employs a thousand people.

Nobody from the company’s management could immediately be reached for comment outside of regular business hours.

They have so far been held at GIKIL’s premises in the northern town of Lukavac while police examine the premises and then will be taken to the Tuzla prosecutors department, Serhatlic said.

Serhatlic said that if found guilty the suspects could get jail sentences of up to 45 years.An arrest warrant has been issued for a fourth man "considered to be a member of this organised criminal group with Pramod Mittal on top".

The suspects will appear before a judge on Wednesday.According to the Zurnal.info website which covers organised crime, the suspects were believed to have embezzled "at least five million marks" (2.5 million euros, $2.8 million).

A duty officer at Tuzla Interior Ministry confirmed police had raided GIKIL but declined to provide further details.

Lakshmi Mital, the CEO of global steel giant ArcelorMittal, has bailed out his cash-strapped brother Pramod in India clear dues he owed to State Trading Corporation, helping avoid legal troubles.

Pramod Mittal, owner of Global Steel Holdings, thanked his elder brother's generosity in helping him clear a significant portion of Rs 2,210 crore dues.

"I am very grateful to my brother Lakshmi Mittal for helping settle the liabilities to State Trading Corporation of India. This generosity ensured compliance with the order from the Supreme Court," he told PTI.

The Mittal brothers had split the business in 1994 with elder brother going on to head the world's largest steel manufacturing company ArcelorMittal. Pramod Mittal's firms Global Steel Holdings Ltd (GSHI) and Global Steel Philippines Inc had defaulted on payments to STC, following which the state-owned company filed various cases against them.

The two firms in a statement said they have settled Rs 2,210 crore dues to STC.

(With inputs from agencies)

Updated Date: Jul 26, 2019 10:50:42 IST