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news 02 Aug 13

Croatia Arrests Police Chief for Corruption

Vukovar county’s police chief and his deputy were arrested on bribery charges with seven other officers in a case that media claimed was linked to the smuggling of illegal immigrants.

Boris Pavelic

The Croatian anti-corruption bureau USKOK on Thursday detained Vukovar county police chief Blaz Topalovic, together with his deputy Mato Kirchbauer, seven other officers and seven civilians.

“They were all arrested for criminal corruption offences of giving and receiving bribes,” the director of the Croatian police, Vlado Dominic, told a press conference.

All of them will be dismissed from the force, Dominic said.

He explained that the arrests followed an investigation that had lasted for several months.

Police didn't officially explain the reasons behind the arrests, but Croatian media claimed that those detained had been smuggling illegal immigrants to and from Croatia for money.

Vukovar county is in the east of the country and borders Serbia – an EU frontier since Croatia joined the European club last month.

Brussels has invested millions of euro in Croatian police and customs to enable them to implement an EU-standard border regime.

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