The Croatian who took off with thousands of euro of Maltese taxpayer money for what turned out to be nothing more than a scam, has now launched a new scheme he claims is worth €50 million – and he’s using endorsements by the Maltese government to promote it.
Kristijan Curavic sold the White Flag scam for so-called ‘plastic-free beaches’ to the Maltese government and raked in thousands in sponsorships from different Ministries as well as private businesses until The Shift revealed he was wanted for fraud in his home country for similar scams. He left the island soon after and never returned, taking the money with him.
The Gozo Ministry alone signed a contract worth €29,000 for two White Flags, which The Shift revealed following a Freedom of Information request. The contract also showed that Gozo Minister Justyne Caruana had misled parliament on the amount committed to Curavic.
Environment Minister Jose Herrera admitted no due diligence had been done before endorsing Curavic’s project, that led to iGaming companies being encouraged to support a project that turned out to be fraudulent.
Igaming companies sought the support of the Maltese government to recover their losses but got none. Now, Curavic is using the names of Maltese government members to promote his new deal he claims is worth €50 million.
He claims the amount has been given by over 30 nations, but Curavic has a track record of lies and deceit, and using the names of celebrities to push his projects forward when they had not given him their permission.
Curavic’s new big idea is to create Certified Marine Safe Areas around the world, as announced by his ‘Head of Finance’ Ivor Zidaric in a post on Facebook.
The new scheme, launched under the name of OACM Blue Economy, will hold a Plastic Ocean Summit, according to claims made on the website, which refer to “unofficial collaboration with the EU – in the process of certification of White Flag in Malta”.
They further claim to have the support of 60-70 governments, although these are not mentioned.
The new webpage talks of grand plans, big achievements and future collaborations, but none of them are named in detail. As with his previous projects, details are scant with names thrown around to give the impression of “enormous” support.
OACM are now promoting governmental testimonials on the website, showing both former Malta President Coleiro Preca and former EU Commissioner Karmenu Vella endorsing Curavic. Both appeared in photo opportunities with Curavic in Malta and these are now being used by Curavic to promote his next project.
It is the same pattern he used to lure government officials in Malta with the names of celebrities like Bianca Jagger and the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation – except when The Shift checked with them if this was true, they all denied connections to the project.
On 30 October 2018, the Municipal State Attorney’s Office of Rijeka, Croatia, filed an indictment against Curavić for issuing a false invoice for HRK 47,970 (€6,500) to justify funds he received from the Tourist Board of the city of Crikvenica for an environmental project in the South Pole that never happened.
Curavic also tried to sell his idea to the Environment Minster of the Seychelles and almost managed. The Seychelles News Agency announced in August last year a plan to place 40 flags along the country’s beaches, but this was put on hold after they became aware of the investigations by The Shift.
There has been no report that the scheme has been reinstated in The Seychelles, and Curavic had again disappeared, until last Thursday when his ‘Head of Finance’ announced the new scheme.
Read The Shift’s investigation on Kristijan Curavic’s scams in Malta here.