- Bosnia and Herzegovina
- All Balkan Countries
Kosovo and EULEX police on Thursday arrested seven suspects as part of a wider probe into a Balkan crime group supected of smuggling migrants into the EU.
Following authorisation by a EULEX pre-trial judge of the District Court of Prizren, the operation, supervised by a EULEX prosecutor from Kosovo’s Special Prosecution Office, was conducted in eight locations.
A EULEX press release said the suspects were “charged with organised crime and smuggling of migrants.
“The arrests follow two earlier operations by the Joint Investigation Team in Kosovo in December 2011 and April 2012, in which other alleged members of the same criminal group were detained,” the press release read, adding: “An indictment was filed against the previously arrested suspects on 11 December 2012”.
The operation coincides with the arrest of 45 other suspected members of the criminal group, which took place in various places in the Balkans yesterday.
On Thursday, 18 people were arrested in Croatia, including three border police officers; Slovenian and Bosnian police arrested another ten and 17 suspects respectively.
The suspects are all believed to belong to a human trafficking ring smuggling immigrants into the European Union.
An overcrowded market and lack of legal safeguards leaves the media in Kosovo vulnerable to a variety of political pressures.