By Nevena Šarenac – Sarajevo
During police actions called “Skela” and “Pauk”, 58 people suspected of corruption and abuse of office have been arrested.
Satisfaction for the actions was expressed today in East Sarajevo by heads of the police of the RS and police agencies and the BiH Prosecutor’s Office.
At a conference for journalists at the headquarters of the State Agency for Investigation and Protection (SIPA), Directors of the Police of the RS Gojko Vasić, Border Police BIH Vinko Dumančić, SIPA Goran Zubac and the Chief Prosecutor of BiH Goran Salihović said that the actions were carried out in several locations, as requested by the Prosecution, and that of the 58 arrested, 12 are police officers.
They were arrested for suspicion of participating in smuggling of live cattle from Serbia to BiH in order for significant financial gains, including crimes such as abuse of office, bribery and other forms of benefits.
The BiH Chief Prosecutor Goran Salihović praised the joint action of all police forces: SIPA, BiH Border Police and the RS Ministry of Internal Affairs.
He said that the actions involved the participation of several hundred police offers, and noted that 58 people were arrested, of which 8 were authorized BiH border police and 4 Ministers from the RS Internal Affairs Office.
“We are continuing the fight against corruption and we can be extremely satisfied with the coordination of such an action that shows very good results’’, said Salihović and added that he is pleased by the fact that these police actions have been successfully coordinated and that they are a part of police actions against those who misuse the budget of BiH”.
The Director of the RS Police Gojko Vasić said that the police investigation, which preceded the arrests, was made in parallel and coordinated with other police agencies and lasted several months.
“The coordination of police agencies functioned well. There was no outflow of information, as evidenced by the fact that the people were arrested in the places where the arrests were planned’’, said Vasić.
Director of the BiH Border Police Vinko Dumančić confirmed that the Border Police arrested 25 people in 23 locations as part of the action “Pauk”, and the BIH Intelligence and Security Agency provided that support in this operation.
Dumaničić said that of the 12 border police officers who were arrested, 8 were arrested by this police agency, while SIPA and the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the RS arrested the rest.
The Director of SIPA Goran Zubac expressed satisfaction that the “Skela” and “Pauk” actions were conducted in a professional way after a series of operative meetings.
It was said that the actions are still ongoing, and so far around 350 livestock have been seized and two boats, three specially adopted vehicles for the transport of cars, as well as a certain amount of money, arms and ammunition.
Suspects will be handed over to the assigned prosecutor within a legal deadline. The suspects will be interrogated, and after that a motion to hold them in custody will be held.