Tue, 02 Mar 2021

SARAJEVO, Jan. 27 (Xinhua) -- A Joint Investigation Team (JIT) of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) and Sweden is conducting a search-and-arrest operation against an organized group suspected of international human trafficking, the Prosecutor's Office of BiH said on Wednesday.

The JIT, supported by the State Investigation and Protection Agency of BIH (SIPA) and the police force of Republika Srpska (RS), one of two entities of BiH, is searching premises, vehicles and electronic devices of several suspects at three locations in the northeast of BiH.

This organized group is suspected of multiple crimes, including international trafficking in persons from vulnerable populations, labor exploitation, fraud, misuse of social security benefits and laundering at least 3.9 million euros (4.7 million U.S. dollars) generated by criminal activities.

The primary goal of the operation is to arrest the suspects and collect evidence for subsequent judicial proceedings in BiH and Sweden.

The European Union Agency for Criminal Justice Cooperation (Eurojust) is coordinating the JIT's investigation with the involvement of several judicial and law enforcement agencies from BiH and Sweden.

The prosecutor's office refused to reveal further information at this time as that could compromise the ongoing investigation.

The JIT is an international cooperation tool based on an agreement between competent authorities -- both judicial (judges, prosecutors, investigative judges) and law enforcement -- of two or more states, established for a limited duration and for a specific purpose, to carry out criminal investigations in one or more of the involved states.

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