News 14 Jan 16

Six Bosnian Serb Police ‘Arrested for Armed Heist’

Six members of the Special Police Unit in Bosnia’s Serb-dominated Republika Srpska entity were arrested for allegedly staging a highway hold-up and stealing some 300,000 euros, media reported.

Danijel Kovacevic
BIRN
Banja Luka
Republika Srpska special police units | Photo: MUP RS

The six policeman were arrested on Wednesday evening on suspicion of involvement in the armed robbery from an armoured vehicle on September 22 last year, local media reported, quoting police department sources.

The men are reported to have ambushed the vehicle on the highway between Banja Luka and Gradiska and stolen around 300,000 euros.

The vehicle, which belonged to the Republika Srpska-based Sector Security private security company, was transporting money for Unicredit bank from Banja Luka to the Croatian capital Zagreb, the reports said.

During the heist, gunfire was exchanged between security guards and the robbers, and one security guard was injured.

According to witnesses, the robbers had machine guns, an AK-47 and a Zolja portable anti-tank rocket launcher.

Two days after the robbery, police located the Audi A6 that the robbers used in the heist in the nearby forest.

Republika Srpska’s interior ministry declined to confirm or deny the media reports.

The ministry told BIRN that police are conducting an investigation into the possible involvement of Republika Srpska police officers in the armed robbery.

Republika Srpska Prime Minister Zeljka Cvijanovic said that the suspects "have been detained and interrogated".

He also said "the Ministry of the Interior of Republika Srpska is gathering all the specific information, and working in order to find out if there is a reasonable suspicion" that the people who were arrested are the robbers.

Media reports said that one of the six arrested failed to pass a lie detector test and that two of them refused to take a polygraph.

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