Tuesday, 4 January 2022

Croatian, Serbian Police Cooperate in Search for Missing Young Man from Split

ZAGREB, 4 Jan 2021 - The police in Croatia's southern Split-Dalmatia County on Tuesday confirmed that they were cooperating with Serbian police in the search for 27-year-old Matej Periš from Split, who went missing in Belgrade in the night between 31 December and 1 January. 

"The search and work on collecting information are underway," the county police said.

According to a police report, Matej Periš was last seen at 2.30 am on 31 December at Belgrade's Gotik nightclub, where he was with his six friends with whom he had arrived in Belgrade for New Year's Eve.

Police have been looking for him for five days.

Serbian media outlets have published a large amount of surveillance camera footage that Periš's father claims show his son.

Boats have been searching the River Sava, where the Gotik nightclub is located, for several days and today they were joined by divers.

The young man's father, Nenad Periš, is in Belgrade, cooperating with police and waiting for news about his son.

According to media reports, Matej's friends returned to Croatia on Monday night.

Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić said on Monday that police have an idea as to what happened to Matej, expressing hope that the young man will be found.

Without revealing details, Vučić said that police will go public with information on the case.

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Monday, 8 November 2021

Three Danish Nationals Charged With Illegal Entry Into Croatia From BiH

ZAGREB, 8 Nov, 2021 - The Croatian police in Cetingrad have filed misdemeanour charges against three Danish nationals who illegally crossed the border to enter Croatia from Bosnia and Herzegovina where they had left their vehicle and recording equipment.

The police reported that during regular supervision of the border, at about 21.50 hours on Sunday evening they came across two men and woman crossing the border at a location where there is no border crossing and that they had recording equipment with them."

The three were taken to the local police station and it was determined that they had come through Bosnia and Herzegovina to the border with Croatia and then crossed the border on foot.

Misdmeanour charges have been filed against the three perpetrators.

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Monday, 18 October 2021

Croatian Police Burn Over 2 Tonnes of Narcotics

ZAGREB, 18 Oct 2021 - More than two tonnes of narcotics seized in police operations was burnt in a factory in the eastern town of Našice on Monday, including two tonnes of marijuana and hashish, 28 kilos of amphetamines, 15 kilos of cocaine, and 12 kilos of heroin, with a street value of about €9.5 million.

Interior Minister Davor Božinović said that the amount of drugs seized was proof of good cooperation between relevant state authorities. He said that drug abuse was a global problem, especially in Europe which has become the main market for some types of drugs, notably cocaine.

"The fact that this is the second drug incineration this year shows the magnitude of the challenge we are all facing. The illegal market is very large, there are many interests of criminal groups, and our job is to be as efficient as possible," Božinović said.

"The present campaign by criminal groups is the result of the opening of communications that were closed for a while due to the pandemic," he added.

Božinović said that the government's goal was to increase prevention and "lead as many young people as possible, especially those in their formative years, away from this evil."

Over the past ten years, Croatia has incinerated over 20 tonnes of seized narcotics. About 500 kilos of cocaine was incinerated in July this year.

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Saturday, 16 October 2021

Croatian Police Bust Drug-Trafficking Ring in Cooperation with SIPA

ZAGREB, 16 Oct, 2021 - Croatian police have busted a drug-trafficking ring, arresting 11 persons who smuggled heroin from Bosnia and Herzegovina to Croatia and confiscating 19.2 kilograms of heroin, 1.3 kilograms of amphetamines and a larger amount of money.

Croatian police officials from Rijeka and Istria County held a news conference in Pazin on Saturday, saying that the operation was launched in November 2020, after officials of Bosnia and Herzegovina's State Investigation and Protection Agency (SIPA) provided information about drugs being smuggled from BiH to Croatia to be sold in the regions of Istria and Dalmatia.

The investigation covered 12 persons - nine Croatian and three BiH nationals, who are suspected of smuggling drugs in cargo and passenger vehicles, using, during the period of stricter border regime introduced due to the coronavirus pandemic, fictitious invitations to business meetings or citing transit as the purpose of travel, to enter Croatia.

Eleven of the 12 persons were arrested and placed in custody on 15 and 16 October while one person is on the run. Croatian police will continue the investigation in the case in cooperation with SIPA.

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Monday, 11 October 2021

Božinović Says Waiting for Results of Investigation Into Violence Against Migrants

ZAGREB, 11 Oct 2021 - Interior Minister Davor Božinović on Monday said that he did not have any new information related to videos of police violence against migrants and that it is necessary to wait for the results of the investigation.

"We'll wait and see what the results of the investigation show. Everything that will happen as part of the relevant procedures will be in line with what the police chief said on Friday," Božinović told reporters.

Protecting the borders in line with the law

Asked about responsibility in the chain of command, Božinović underscored that the orders are to protect the state borders in line with the law.

"There cannot be any order that is not in line with the law. As soon as I receive the report from the police directorate, I will forward it to the prime minister, even though we have already discussed all this," said Božinović.

He said that police officers, particularly those assigned to border control, doing one of the most difficult jobs.

He added that there were cases when the police themselves identified cases of police officers overstepping their powers or unlawful conduct.

He said that disciplinary procedures had been underway from before against eight police officers and that 22 cases had been documented and submitted to the State Attorney's Office (DORH).

"When someone individually breaches or oversteps their authority anywhere, there are services in the police directorate and internal controls to conduct investigations and decide on the penalties," he said.

Commenting on an anonymous letter by a police officer who claimed two years ago that an order existed for violent pushbacks, Božinović reiterated that anything that was reported was always investigated. DORH rejected 13 of the 22 cases for lack of evidence, he said.

The anonymous police officer's letter refers to a specific case, with a specific location and date, which previously was not the case, said Božinović and added that a prompt reaction followed the anonymous letter and that the matter was still being investigated.

Božinović also commented on a recent drug incident in the Croatian Army, underscoring that police offices were exceptionally active regarding the fight against drug smuggling.

"The cocaine market is expanding into the general population, which is concerning. We will meet with the anti-drug commission in the next few days. In 2020, 60 kilograms of cocaine were confiscated whereas in the first eight months of this year more than 667 kilograms were seized," he said.

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Saturday, 9 October 2021

Milanović: Police Can’t Act Like That, It’s Good That Measures Are Being Taken

ZAGREB, 9 Oct, 2021 - President Zoran Milanović said on Saturday he was confident the case of Croatian police who took part in violence against migrants on the Bosnian border was an isolated case, adding that police must not act like that and that it was good that measures were being taken.

"I believe it's an isolated case because otherwise that would be seen and known. Police must not act like that and that's obviously overstepping one's authority," he told the press in Osijek.

"But we must also talk about the police officers who are doing a very tough job every day year-round for modest pay and are protecting the Croatian border. That's a tough job in the interest of the wider community. I wouldn't want the police as a service to be stigmatised because of this," he added.

"Somebody has to protect the border, border equals state. People coming to the border without authorisation and want to cross it are committing a criminal offence. Those are facts," he said, calling for resolving the recently reported case of Croatian police beating illegal migrants.

"If accountability is established, there should be consequences and punishment, but a problem remains. People, perhaps even families, gather on the Croatian border every day, who want to cross the border and go somewhere else, but that's illegal," he added.

Asked if there was individual or command responsibility in the latest case, Milanović said he did not know.

"I don't believe anyone ordered that. It's evidently an isolated case. I hope we have solved that. The border problem remains. We see that some states, our partners in the European Union a little more to the east, would like the European Union's border to have a fence. I wouldn't want that. I find it inhumane."

The president was in Osijek to attend a ceremony marking the 30th anniversary of the Osijek Independent Air Platoon.

For Croatia's latest news, CLICK HERE.

Thursday, 7 October 2021

Police Form Task Force Over Videos of Violence Against Migrants

ZAGREB, 7 Oct 2021 - The head of the border administration, Zoran Ničeno, said on Wednesday that the Police Directorate had formed a task force that would go into the field after the release of videos showing masked persons hitting migrants and pushing them back from Croatia to Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Earlier in the day, RTL television showed videos of men wearing ski masks pushing back migrants from Croatia across a backwater of the Korana river, hitting them with batons such as those used by riot police. Some of the men also wore vests like those of riot police.

RTL said the footage was from June and that it was taken during an eight-month journalistic investigation in which an RTL crew took part with colleagues from Lighthouse Reports, an investigative journalistic network based in the Netherlands, from the Swiss SRF Rundschau, the German ARD, ARD Monitor, the French Liberation, the Dutch Pointer, the Croatian Novosti, and the German Der Spiegel.

Ničeno told RTL the Police Directorate saw part of the video for the first time earlier in the day and the whole report later on TV.

"We saw that the material is impressive and the police director decided to form a task force that will go to that supposed terrain tomorrow. Given that these are journalists' claims, today we called the Cetingrad police commissioner and we haven't managed to determine the location of the event," Ničeno said.

He said blows or beatings were not part of regular police procedure and that there was no command or order to push back migrants and beat them. "In order to establish all the facts, everything has to be checked."

Ničeno said Croatia was one of the most successful countries in catching migrant smugglers and that the job of the police was to protect the Croatian border. However, he added, "it's absolutely impossible that someone in the police would order or support such hitting."

Investigation by a number of European media

The video and story about violence against migrants were released in a number of countries, including testimonies by migrants, medical staff, investigators, and analysts.

Investigative journalists Klaas van Dijken and Lamia Šabić recorded the violence near Šturlić on the Bosnian side of the border.

About 20 meters from us, we saw through the bushes four persons with masks hit people and force them into a river up to their chests. By force into the Korana and back to Bosnia, van Dijken said.

By looking at the footage, he said, they noticed that the men wore vests like those of the Croatian riot police.

Analysts also established that the gun one masked man had on his belt was made by the Croatian company HS Produkt, which supplies the Croatian police. They also noticed the baton used by Croatian police.

Also broadcast was drone footage showing persons brought to the border in a van and directed to Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The head of Lighthouse Reports coordinated a journalistic investigation on the Romanian and Greek borders as well. Lots of information leads to the conclusion that similar practice is being implemented on other European borders, RTL said.

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Thursday, 9 September 2021

Drivers, Beware! Croatian Police Begin Using New, Modern Application

September the 9th, 2021 - Croatian road users have yet another reason to watch out while driving as the Croatian police begin using a brand new, modern app which allows them to see if you've committed any offences in the Republic of Croatia, even if you're driving a vehicle that is registered outside of the European Union's borders.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, As of 31st of August, 2021, the Croatian police situated at the country's borders are stepping up their game in terms of the use of new technology and monitoring. It no longer matters where your car is registered or what you might have done, they'll know about it, and you'll no longer be able to escape any fines.

''In continuation of the comprehensive project of the modernisation and digitalisation for the traffic police, Croatian police officers began working with a new application.

With the help of this application, they have an insight into the records of vehicles with foreign registration plates from countries which lie outside of the territory of the European Union (EU), with which drivers have committed a traffic offense while driving in the Republic of Croatia.

During the process undertaken while at border control, the Croatian police officers will determine who the owner of the vehicle is, regardless of where it is registered, and process any traffic violations through the aforementioned application,'' the Ministry of the Interior (MUP) recently announced.

According to a report from Vecernji list, upon arrival at the border crossing, Croatian police officers will deal with the perpetrators of misdemeanors who don't have their permanent residence address registered in the Republic of Croatia, but still have unpaid fines for the committed misdemeanors, through the application.

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Sunday, 1 August 2021

Zagreb Police Candidates to Learn Turkish Language Starting November 2021

August 01, 2021 - The Zagreb Police Academy signed an agreement with The Yunus Emre Institute of Turkey on July 30, 2021, to make Turkish language education mandatory for Zagreb police candidates.

As Andalou Agency reported, the Turkish language will be taught to police candidates at the beginning of November this year. The Yunus Emre Turkish Cultural Centre in Zagreb will provide Turkish language training programs to officers in Zagreb Police Academy. After the inital Turkish language course, successful police candidates will proceed to the next level and receive their certificates.

The director of the Turkish YEE Cultural Centre and the president of Zagreb Police Academy both beileve that this act is to further strengthen the long-standing friendship and diplomacy between Turkey and Croatia. In the signing event, Director Fuat Kormaz expressed the Yunus Emre Institute's desire to strengthen Turkey's deep-rooted historical relations with Croatia and President Davorka Martinjak of the police academy unreluctantly agreed. According to her, Croatia has always maintained good relations with Turkey, and that cooperation with the Turkish cultural centre will be of great importance.  

On top of the Turkish language courses, a bilateral agreement was also made that would provide training programs to police officers in the fields of communication, immigration, and counter-terrorism. These programs will be supervised by experts from the Turkish Interior Ministry. 

The Yunus Emre Institue in Zagreb also offers Turkish language courses to anyone interested.

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Friday, 23 April 2021

Croatian Police to Use Brand New Speed Control Device on Country's Motorways

April the 23rd, 2021 - Despite the fact that Croatia's motorways aren't fully of foreign vehicles as would be the norm as summer approaches, the Croatian police (MUP) are still pressing forward with the purchase of innovative and modern new equipment for monitoring the roads and their traffic.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, the speed camera industry is advancing rapidly, much in the same way that cars and everything they can do with each new model continues to become more and more modern. Police units must naturally follow suit, and technology manufacturers are there to satisfy that need.

Back in 2018, TrueSpeed ​​introduced its pocket radar, which was then in its experimental phase. It has now officially become the inventory of a police unit. Police officers from Le Mans (France) became the first users of these new cameras, writes HAK magazine, and the Croatian police are set to follow in their footsteps.

The peculiarity of this new pocket radar is that it really does fit into your pocket. It is cheaper than other similar items on the market, so Croatian police officers will actually be able to wear it as part of a permanent inventory and even occasionally stand by the side of the road and control a driver's speed.

The radar controls speeds of up to 300 kmh, but that's not all, because thanks to the x7 zoom, the police officer will be able to see right inside the vehicle to check if the driver is on the phone, eating while driving, if their seat belt is properly fastened and if all of the necessary stickers are stuck on the windshield properly.

The range is 640 metres, it allows control in both directions of traffic, even during rainy weather when the visibility might be poorer. However, it only works if the police officer is standing and it cannot be used as a mobile radar. TrueSpeed ​​expects its product to be popular among other police units in Europe, including the Croatian police.

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