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At a press conference in Zagreb in Croatia, representatives of the Slovenian, Croatian and Austrian police as well as police from Bosnia and Herzegovina described the course and results of the extensive international operation Tara. The investigation, which was led by the Slovenian police, revealed an organized criminal network that was smuggling illegal immigrants into various countries of the European Union. Following a house search, on 1 April police officers deprived several suspects of their liberty.

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Slovenian criminal police officers, in cooperation with Croatian and Austrian security authorities, through an intensive collation of information, identified several members of an international criminal network. They established that from the end of October 2008 until 1 April 2009 the criminal network carried out at least 20 criminal offences of illegal crossing of a border or territory of a state (of which two were tries) and one criminal offence of concealing (transport of a vehicle BMW X6, stolen in Germany).

Members of the network were extremely cautious. They were monitoring the surroundings at all times and warned the operators of the presence of the police by various advance parties and escorts. They also monitored police radio communications (during house search police officers found radio stations, set to police frequencies as well as night vision equipment).


During the implementation of undercover investigative measures, the criminal network transported 38 illegal immigrants from Croatia into Slovenia, followed by further transport into the interior of Slovenia or to other EU countries. The illegal immigrants were captured by the police during these transportations. The suspects demanded from 500 to 1500 EUR for the transport of one illegal immigrant cross state borders (depending on the number of state border crossings).

13 persons were accused of 20 criminal offences on the territory of Slovenia. We are dealing with seven Slovenian citizens, two Croatian citizens and one citizen from Macedonia, Serbia, Germany and Kosovo.

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The criminal investigation was led by criminal police officers of the Murska Sobota Police Directorate in cooperation with the Criminal Police Directorate at the General Police Directorate and Croatian and Austrian security authorities. The entire procedure was directed by the Murska Sobota District Public Prosecutor's Office.

All police representatives, who participated at today's press conference, agreed that the disclosure of several persons, suspected of smuggling people, is the result of good cooperation with foreign security authorities in order to reveal these criminal acts.