Former owner of Croatia’s food and retail group Agrokor Ivica Todoric was released from prison here on Tuesday after paying a bail of 7.5 million kuna (1.15 million U.S. dollars).
Todoric was detained on Nov. 7, after he was extradited from London to Croatia where he is suspected of illegal withdrawal of some one billion kuna (150 million U.S. dollars) from Agrokor.
Todoric’s lawyers, who had earlier claimed that such a big bail might be a serious problem for their client, told reporters on Tuesday that his friends stepped in and collected the needed money in three days.
The founder and former owner of the biggest private company in Croatia handed over his passport before being released from the investigative prison at the Zagreb County Court. He is forbidden to leave Zagreb and will have to report to the police.
Ivica Todoric was born in 1951, and after graduating from the Faculty of Economics in Zagreb, he started a company dealing with flower production.
Agrokor was founded in 1989 and soon started spreading its business by buying factories such as “Stars”, “Jamnica” and the chain of “Konzum” food stores that became part of the company.
He became the “largest capitalist in Croatia” and expanded his business empire in Slovenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Serbia.
Agrokor came into a debt crisis in 2017 after banks didn’t want to issue new liquidity loans. Russian Sberbank accused Todoric of falsifying the scales and misrepresenting the company’s business.
The State Attorney’s Office of Croatia is charging Todoric with illegally gaining more than one billion kuna from the company together with two sons and twelve former Agrokor managers. Later the investigation was extended to the loans Agrokor received, Xinhua reports.