Father and Five Sons Under Investigation

Prosecutor's Office of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) requested jail for seven persons including a father and five sons accused of smuggling illegal immigrants through BiH to Croatia and onwards to West Europe. The suspects are Arif Čović (54) from Štulice near Cazin and his sons Almir (33), Hasib (31), Đulaga (28), Husmir (27), Ale (22) – all with previous criminal records and also for a Turkish national Secgin Recep Emir (24) from Ada Pazar, Turkey.

According to today’s press release, the seven are under investigation because they are suspected of criminal association. If found guilty, they face sentences from three years and longer. The prosecutors suspect the group of organizing smuggling of illegal immigrants from Turkey and other countries via BiH into Croatia and onward towards the EU countries.

Prosecutors asked for jailing of the suspects because the father and the sons were sentenced previously on several occasions and there is a danger that they might repeat the crime if not jailed. The Turkish national does not have Bosnian citizenship and if he were to leave the country, he would be off limits to the BiH authorities as Turkey does not extradite its citizens.

The operation code-named Loka was conducted at the orders of the BiH Prosecutor’s Office with the goal of uncovering and prosecuting organized criminal groups involved in smuggling illegal immigrants. The BiH Prosecutor’s Office continues its investigation to file an indictment while the Court of BiH will either confirm the jailing or throw it out.

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