Prosecutor Raises Extensive Indictment against a Group of Suspected Car Thieves

Bosnian prosecutor for organized crime charged a group with car theft and trafficking in vehicles and car parts in what is called the biggest case against so-called “auto-mafia” in the country.

The group is suspected of stealing cars in the Sarajevo region, on both sides of the entity line, and selling or dismantling them for parts in chop shops. The group is also charged with extortion of the owners of stolen cars.

The prosecutor said in the indictment that, on average, two vehicles are stolen in Sarajevo every day.

The indictment against the group of 27 members is based on the evidence collected in an investigation joined by several law enforcement agencies, namely the state police, the Republika Srpska police, the Sarajevo Canton police and Bosnian border police. According to the evidence, the group members had specific roles. They usually stole expensive cars using sophisticated tools while listening to police scanners. The group was active in Sarajevo, Tuzla and western Herzegovina. The value of the cars they stole is estimated at several million KM.

According to the indictment, the stolen cars were hidden at locations in Sarajevo and nearby towns, mostly in Republika Srpska. The owners were contacted for ransom; in case the deal would fall through, the cars were sold with forged papers in Bosnia or in one of the neighboring countries, or dismantled for parts in a chop shop.

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