FETÖ-linked schools in Bosnia swimming in tax debt: Report


The so-called educational institutions affiliated with the Gülenist Terrorist Group (FETÖ) in Bosnia-Herzegovina owe the country’s government over 500,000 euros ($530,000) in tax debt, a report has recently revealed.

Richmond College and its branches, a FETÖ-linked institution, has accrued more than half a million euros of unpaid taxes, according to the Federation of Bosnia-Herzegovina (FBIH) Tax Administration, which made public on Dec. 31 its list of companies whose debt total amounts to nearly 100 million euros.

Richmond College reportedly changed hands twice after the July 15 coup attempt in Türkiye, the 2016 insurgency that left 251 people dead and 2,734 injured as FETÖ sought to wrest control of the country using its members that had infiltrated the Turkish military, police and judiciary.

The Richmond schools in Bosnia-Herzegovina were first sold to a U.S. and then a British company in the aftermath of the coup when Türkiye launched efforts both at home and abroad to crack down on elements of FETÖ, which boasts an international network of schools.

FBIH’s reports showed that the tax debt of Richmond College is over 200,000 euros, while Richmond Park College in the capital Sarajevo owes to the state over 156,000 euros.

Richmond Park Elementary School, which operates in Zenica, is indebted 103,000 euros to the Bosnian government, including taxes, contributions, fees and other costs.

Richmond Park Secondary School, also based in Zenica, has a tax debt exceeding 53,000 euros, the FBIH noted.

School-selling scheme

In the wake of July 15, FETÖ conducted a series of transactions where it transferred its so-called schools in Bosnia-Herzegovina to foreign companies to regain their control later.

It was revealed that the “Bosnia Sema” schools controlled by FETÖ were sold to British and U.S. companies to hide their connections to the terrorist organization.

FETÖ fugitive Önder Aytaç openly acknowledged the connection of schools in Bosnia-Herzegovina to the organization on his social media account.

“Are schools belonging to the ‘hizmet’ movement in Bosnia in debt? Since when has it been ‘hizmet’ to open restaurants and tourism companies?” Aytaç wrote, using the Turkish word “hizmet” to refer to the concept of the so-called “service” the FETÖ members use to describe their operations.

According to Aytaç, selling schools in Bosnia-Herzegovina to British and American companies is just a “hoax.”

“They say that the British and American companies bought the schools, but that is another lie they tell around the world. So everyone knows who bought it or not,” Aytaç claimed.

FETÖ schools operating under the name “Bosnia Sema Educational Institutions” in the country were first sold to the U.S.-based company Global Education after the coup attempt. They were later transferred to the British Richmond Park Education Company.

The schools, known to have changed owners twice in the last six years, have consistently denied any connection to FETÖ. Despite FETÖ schools’ sales schemes in Bosnia-Herzegovina, the increasing loss of students after the July 15 coup attempt could not be stopped.

The colossal school network run by FETÖ around the world, from Central Asia to Africa and from Europe to the U.S., is one of the primary businesses of the terrorist group. In African countries with more arbitrary legal structures and Western ones with strict institutionalized law, the education business has been a lucrative gateway to building an economic powerhouse for FETÖ and its profiteering businesspeople. The economic value of the terrorist group, which has been nurtured with a transnational network of trading companies and businesses, was estimated to be around $25 billion in 2012.

After the 2016’s coup attempt, Türkiye established the Maarif Foundation to assume the administration of schools linked to the group overseas. The foundation also oversees schools and education centers abroad.

Ankara has worked in close cooperation with many nations in helping expose terrorist activity, shut down or take over schools, and freeze bank accounts and assets. However, the terrorists still maintain a persistent presence in dozens of countries, the most notable of which is the U.S. which has yet to extradite ringleader Fetullah Gülen.

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