Serbian police arrests 46 people over corruption

Police detain 46 people in Serbia in anti-graft operation

Photo by: AFP (Archive)
Photo by: AFP (Archive)

Serbian policemen stand guard during a news conference in Belgrade.

Serbian police have detained 46 people, 15 being police officers over corruption and money-laundering charges, the interior minister said on Friday.

A local judge, an official of the state-run pension fund and a former mayor were also detained in the nationwide sweep.

Interior Minister Nebojsa Stefanovic said the arrested have cost the state 7 million euros ($7.9 million) from non-paid fines or taxes.

"The 15 constables of the Belgrade traffic police were arrested on suspicion of accepting bribes," he told a news conference.

In December, the police arrested 86 people over the same charges in the first swoop on corruption.

After April 24 snap election, the Progressive Party of Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic is aiming to cement its hold on power to pursue economic reforms and a European Union integration bid.

Serbia, as a country that wants to join the European Union, will have to show progress in fighting organised crime which became stronger during the wars of federal Yugoslavia's break-up in the 1990s.

Last June, more than three dozen police and customs officers were charged with corruption.

TRTWorld, Reuters