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The Prosecutor's Office of Bosnia and Herzegovina

News

INDICTMENT ISSUED AGAINST FOUR PERSONS FOR PARTICIPATION IN ILLICIT INTERNATIONAL TRAFFICKING OF ARMS FROM BIH TO REPUBLIC OF AUSTRIA

05.12.2017. 15:25
 Prosecutor of the Special Department for Organized Crime, Economic Crime and Corruption within the Prosecutor’s Office of BiH issued an indictment against the following persons:
  • INDICTMENT ISSUED AGAINST FOUR PERSONS FOR PARTICIPATION IN ILLICIT INTERNATIONAL TRAFFICKING OF ARMS FROM BIH TO REPUBLIC OF AUSTRIA

- ESAD KAHVEDŽIĆ, born in 1965 in Odžak, with prior convictions citizen of BiH,

- STEVAN ŽARKIĆ, born in 1964 in Donji Žabar, with prior  convictions, citizen of BiH,

- ALMIR KAHVEDŽIĆ, born in 1995 in Dusseldorf Germany, with prior convictions, a BiH citizen, and

- PETAR MIRKIĆ, born in 1973 in Donauwoerth Germany, with prior convictions, citizen of BiH.

The accused persons are charged with having, during the period from September to November 2016 while acting in there capacity as members of an organized group and the accused Esad Kahvedžić in his capacity as the organizer and leader of the group,  with the intent aiming to acquire unlawful property gain, carried out Illicit Trafficking in Arms, Military Equipment and Dual-Use Products from the territory of BH to the territory of Austria where those were to be used in commission of criminal offenses. The weapons were acquired and kept without approval and a large quantity of firearms and ammunition was sold, which is strictly forbidden to citizens.

The accused parties are charged with having committed the following on several occasions: the primary accused has in accordance with the previously established agreement with a person from the area  Austria, organized and intermediated in international trafficking while others have unlawfully obtained and purchased a large quantity of weapons, ammunition and mines and explosives, including automatic rifles left behind from the war in BiH for the purpose of smuggling, transport and intermediating  in international trafficking  of weapons, and then sold the weapons for a previously agreed monetary compensation to the above-mentioned person who had taken the weapons from the territory of BiH and smuggled it illegally into the territory of Republic of Austria.

According to the indictment, during the search of houses, apartments and other premises of the accused, a large quantity of weapons, mines and explosive devices, ammunition and military equipment were seized including: rifles and pistols of renowned manufacturers with accompanying equipment, ammunition of various calibers, hand grenades, hand held rocket launchers the so called "Zolja", mines, explosives, initial and detonator capsules, as well as bulletproof west  and tools for retyping serial and chassis numbers.

The indictment also alleges that the accused Kahvedžić illegally kept tobacco products i.e. that he obtained 448 kg of cut tobacco and leaf tobacco from third parties in order to sell tobacco as a finished product on the black market. The tobacco in question was found during the search of the house and seized.

The accused are charged with the criminal offense of Organized Crime under Article 250 in conjunction with the criminal offense Illicit Trafficking in Arms, Military Equipment and Dual-Use Products under Article 193, all in conjunction with Article 54 of the CC BiH;  the accused persons Stevan Žarkić and Petar Mirkić are also charged with the criminal offense of Illegal Manufacturing and Trade of Weapons or Explosive Substances under Article under Article 399 of the RS Criminal Code; the accused Esad Kahvedžić is also charged with the criminal offense of Illegal Possession of Weapons or Explosive Substances under Article 371 of the CC FBiH and the criminal offense of Illicit Trade in Excise Products under Article 210a of the CC BiH

The indictment was forwarded to the Court of BiH for confirmation.

During the course of investigation, significant and coordinated cooperation was maintained between the Prosecutor’s Office of BiH and partner institutions of the Republic of Austria

The Prosecutor’s Office of BiH is working intensively, with partner agencies from several countries, on detection, prevention and criminal prosecution of persons involved in smuggling of arms, left available after the war in BiH, towards the EU countries.


*Note on the principle of presumption of innocence

Dear Media Representatives, when transmitting news please bear in mind that persons referred to in the news and information of the BiH Prosecutor's Office, have the status of a suspect or an accused person. Let us remind you of the principle of presumption of innocence, which defines that no person shall be considered guilty until his/her guilt has been established by a final verdict.

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