Saturday, 19 April 2014

Právo: Organised crime flourishes in Zlín region

11 December 2012

Prague, Dec 10 (CTK) - The Zlin Region, south Moravia, is specific with its economic and organised crime, which may be helped by the absence of branches of specialised police offices, daily Pravo writes yesterday.

Detectives have been investigating the methanol scandal that has claimed 38 lives for three months. Its origin can be largely traced to the Zlin Region, a hub not only of bootlegged alcohol, but also of other organised crime, Pravo writes.

The region is situated on the border with Slovakia from which Miroslav Maslak, one of the most notorious Slovak mafia members, moved here roughly a year ago, it adds.

A week ago, a Zlin court took Maslak into custody over blackmail of local businesspeople, Pravo writes.

The detectives have also dealt with a number of other serious crimes, it adds.

They charged the representative of the firm Moravia-Chem and another more than ten local businesspeople with tax evasion worth about 100 million crowns over the fictitious use of the Cinol anti-freeze additive, Pravo writes.

There is also the notorious case of a detective from the crack police office for the uncovering of organised crime who allegedly gave information from the police files to criminals, it adds.

Despite the serious crimes, the region still lacks the branches of the Police Organised Crime Squad (UOOZ), Pravo writes.

Many experts are of the view that due to this, criminals deliberately choose the Zlin Region for their dubious dealings, it adds.

"This is a border region with a large-scale organised crime of all types. This ranges from blackmail to corruption," regional state attorney Roman Kafka told the paper.

"There is a large alcohol black market and the police investigate a number of people-trafficking and procurement cases," he adds.

"This is one of the reasons for which the branch of the anti-corruption police and the UOOZ should not be lacked in the region," Kafka said.

"Besides, the closest branches of the offices in Brno and Ostrava, north Moravia, do not have such knowledge of the local situation," he added.

Czech police president Martin Cervicek told the paper that the establishment of new branches of specialised police offices was not ruled out in Zlin and other regions in which economic and organised crime is rife.

At present, the UOOZ and anti-corruption police have their branches in six towns of the Czech Republic, Pravo writes.

($1 = 19.527 crowns)

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