By order of the Prosecutor’s Office of Bosnia and Herzegovina and in cooperation with police officers of the Republika Srpska Ministry of the Interior, Tuzla Canton Ministry of the Interior, Zenica-Doboj Ministry of the Interior and Sarajevo Canton Ministry of the Interior, police officers of the State Investigation and Protection Agency (SIPA) conducted searches at eleven (11) locations in Tuzla, Lukavac, Pelagićevo, Šamac, Zavidovići and Prnjavor, as well as on the territory of the municipality of Ilidža, and they arrested five (5 ) suspects.
As part of the investigative and operational activities, information and evidence were collected that the suspects had been engaged in the illicit trade in tobacco for a longer period of time, by procuring, transporting, storing and selling cut tobacco and machines for filling cigarettes with cut tobacco, which they had illegally procured in the Republic of Turkey and then illegally transferred in dismantled parts to Bosnia and Herzegovina.
During the search, a large quantity of cut tobacco and cigarettes without excise stamps, as well as a machine for cutting tobacco and a machine for filling cigarettes with cut tobacco were found and temporarily seized, along with a large amount of money for which grounded suspicion exists that it was obtained by illegal sale of cigarettes and tobacco products. Also, some mobile phones were found and temporarily seized during the search, as well as other items that may serve as evidence in further proceedings.
Persons subject to investigation in this case are suspected to have committed the criminal offense of Organized Crime, referred to in Article 250 of the Criminal Code of Bosnia and Herzegovina, in conjunction with the criminal offense of Illicit Trade in Excise Products, referred to in Article 210a of the Criminal Code of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The Prosecutor’s Office of Bosnia and Herzegovina and its partner institutions and agencies are working on a number of cases related to the illicit trade in large quantities of tobacco excise products, which generates large unlawful material gain for the perpetrators and causes damage to the budget and all citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina.