Successful Operation in the Field of Cigarettes Smuggling

The Operation “JOKER” was carried out by the Ministry of Interior from Republic of Srpska (Bosnia and Herzegovina) and the Ministry of Interior of Republic of Croatia, with significant support provided by SELEC. Also Police investigators from Montenegro and Republic of Serbia provided useful information at the beginning of the operation.

In the period January – September 2014, according to the evidences obtained by the investigators during the Operation “JOKER”, the members of an organized crime group smuggled over 350,000 packs of cigarettes and several tons of tobacco, from Bosnia and Herzegovina to Republic of Croatia (over Sava River).

At the beginning of September, theinvestigators from Banja Luka/ Bosnia and Herzegovina searched 21 locations and arrested 14 persons, suspected of committing several crimes such as: cigarettes smuggling, tax evasion and illicit trade. During the search, the Police seized mobile phones, computers, SIM cards carriers, 10,000 Euro in cash, 3 cars (1 Grand Cherokee and 2 VW Passat), 1 gun CZ 6.35 mm, bigger quantity of different kind of cigarettes, 2.5 tons of  tobacco, 500 kg of cardboard packing for cigarettes and 2 machines for the manufacture of cigarettes.At the same time, during the operation, the Croatian investigators seized several shipments of cigarettes, based on information provided by the Ministry of Interior of Republic of Srpska’s investigators.