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At today's press conference, representatives of the Ljubljana Police Directorate and the Criminal Police Directorate at the General Police Directorate presented the results of a recent criminal investigation of the criminal act of blackmailing in the jurisdiction of the Ljubljana PD. At the same time they stressed the problem of blackmailing in Slovenia.

izsiljevanje01Pictured from left to right: Branko Japelj, Slavko Koroš

According to Branko Japelj, head of the Criminal Police Division at the Ljubljana PD, Ljubljana's criminalists, in cooperation with criminalists from the GPD Specialist Unit, on 18 August 2008 at Rusjanov Trg in Ljubljana arrested perpetrators of criminal acts and stopped the blackmailing of a victim from the area of Koper.

Pursuant to collected reports, including a report from the victim, it was established that four Slovenian citizens from the area of Ljubljana (two aged 26 and one 23; the identity of the remaining person is still being established) were reasonably suspected of having committed the criminal act of blackmail under Article 218/I, III of the Penal Code (punishable by no more than 5 years in prison or from one to 8 years if the nature of the criminal act is severe). Based on prior agreements regarding the sale of a vehicle, at the end of July this year, in an apartment on Rusjanov Trg, a victim was forced by means of serious threats, physical force, use of a weapon against life and body and in a very rude and degrading manner to transfer the ownership of his expensive sports car the same day at the Ljubljana Administration Unit to the detriment of his personal property. The suspects gained EUR 67,000 worth of unlawful proceeds due to the criminal act.

Tenants and owners of inns and entertainment facilities and entrepreneurs, don't be blackmailed!

On the problem of blackmailing in Slovenia:

The head of the Organised Crime Division of the Criminal Police Directorate at the General Police Directorate, Slavko Koroš, said: The police action in the concrete case and statistical data clearly show that the police deal very seriously with cases of violent criminal acts which cause people physical as well as psychological suffering, and we will do everything necessary to track down the perpetrators and protect the integrity and safety of victims. In doing this, we shall use all the resources and methods of police work available.

According to Koroš, 307 (253) criminal offences have been examined in Slovenia this year, 54 more than last year in the same period. Investigations of criminal offences were successful in 89.58% of cases (87.35% last year), pointing to the fact that the police are successful in investigating such criminal offences and that the violence against victims also stops.

Such criminal offences are committed by individuals or groups of blackmailers or organised criminal groups, and in order to reach their goals (unlawful proceeds) they cause physical and mental pressure, material damage, shame and in some cases also kidnap their victims.

Although the victims more often than not decide to reveal such criminal offences, the police conclude that many such acts are still not reported to the police for reasons of fear of the aggressors or out of the mistaken belief that the blackmailing will stop after paying the money. From the experience of the police, this is not a solution, since the aggressors often require even more material benefits from their victims through violent acts; in the background there are real or imagined debts or paying security for inns (so-called racketeering). The victims many times find themselves in a situation with no solution, and they report the criminal act late, many times too late.

The Criminal Police Directorate has prepared a booklet with the title "Tenants, owners of inns and entrepreneurs, do not allow yourselves to be blackmailed!", intended for greater awareness of local people and an appeal to possible victims to overcome fear and decide to prosecute these criminals, because the police will do everything necessary to track down the perpetrators and protect the victims.

Victims can report criminal offences at the nearest police station or call the intervention phone number of the police 113, anonymous phone 080 12 00 or report the act directly to a policeman or criminologist.