Fugitive Croatian business mogul Ivica Todoric was arrested in London on Tuesday on a European warrant issued by authorities in Zagreb, British police said. The 66-year-old boss of indebted Balkan food and retail giant Agrokor is the prime suspect in an ongoing probe into alleged abuse of trust, forging of official documents and failure to keep proper business records at the company.
Agrokor, the largest employer in a region with high unemployment, has run up debts estimated to total 5.4 billion euros ($6.2 billion) through aggressive expansion and expensive borrowing. Croatia’s government in April named a crisis manager to lead a restructuring process at the firm, whose revenues account for 15 percent of the EU state’s gross domestic product (GDP).
The company has around 60,000 employees, two-thirds of whom are in Croatia. Another 14 other people, including Todoric’s two sons and other former top executives at the company, are suspected in the scandal. Todoric is due to appear in a London court later on Tuesday.