SARAJEVO, Bosnia (September 16, 2008) - Commencing at approximately 6 a.m. this morning a number of suspects, approximately eight, most of whom work in managerial postitions, were simultaneously arrested upon orders of the Bosnian state Prosecutor's Office. A number of private and official addresses were searched upon orders issued by the Bosnian State Court.
This latest action is part of an extensive ongoing investigation into the widespread abuse and misuse of the ID card and passport system of the Bosnian State Agency for Identification Documents and Data Exchange - formerly known as 'CIPS' - by corrupt employees and their associates in a number of Bosnian cities.
The action was led and directed by the Bosnian State Prosecutor's Office Special Department for Organised Crime, Economic Crimes and Corruption and carried out by the Bosnian State Investigation and Protection Agency (SIPA) and the Brčko District Police, assisted by other Bosnian Police authorities.
Bosnian Law Enforcement Agencies carrying out the searches and arrests included: SIPA, the Brćko District Police and the Tuzla Canton Ministry of Interior, as well as other police agencies. All three agencies cooperated with the Bosnian State Prosecutor's Office and carried out operations at various locations across Bosnia, including Bijeljina, Brčko, Srebrenica, Šekovići, Zvornik and Srebrenik.
The EU Police Mission in Bosnia (EUPM) has supported the action in an advisory role, at the Headquarters and the planning level, and also by attending and giving advice at 'live' field operations.
"This was a very successful second stage of the operation led by the international prosecutor Heikki Wendorf," said Brian Donley, EUPM's Chief Adviser to SIPA.
"All targeted offenders have been arrested and they will be interviewed at length in the next two days. Once again, this was an excellent joined operation involving various law enforcement agencies." he said.
It is not possible at this stage to go into more details about the case as a number of suspects are still due to be interviewed and evidence is still being collected.
The first part of the CIPS operation took place in May this year, with the arrest of 20 suspects.