INTERNATIONAL OPERATION CODENAMED ‘SEAGULL’ CARRIED OUT ON ORDER OF BIH PROSECUTOR’S OFFICE23.09.2021. 10:07
Acting pursuant to an order issued by a Prosecutor of the Prosecutor’s Office of Bosnia and Herzegovina, police officers of the Brčko District, in cooperation with the Border Police of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Ministry of the Interior of the Republic of Croatia, carried out an international operation codenamed ‘Seagull’, aimed at documenting and preventing smuggling of migrants across Bosnia and Herzegovina to the Republic of Croatia and further into the countries of the European Union.
These activities are in relation to several suspects who are under investigation and are charged with illegally smuggling migrants across the state border for a period of several months, whereby that organized criminal group acquired significant material gain.
These illegal activities were most often carried out through the territory of the Brčko District; therefore, a well-established smuggling chain operating in this area was cut by this operation.
According to the evidence collected, the suspects smuggled migrants using boats and vessels in hidden places across the Sava River, thus avoiding measures of border and customs control, all in order to acquire unlawful material gain. During this morning’s activities, and as part of an organized illegal crossing of the state border, twelve (12) migrants were found on the Sava River near Brčko, and two members of that organized criminal group were deprived of their liberty.
As part of the operation, searches were conducted in the area of Brčko, with the aim of gathering evidence and documenting the committed criminal offense.
The found illegal migrants were handed over to the further jurisdiction of the Service for Foreigners’ Affairs of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The suspects under investigation are charged with the commission of the criminal offense of Organizing a Group or Association for the Purpose of Perpetrating the Criminal Offence of ‘Smuggling of Persons’, referred to in Article 189a, in conjunction with the criminal offense of Smuggling of Persons, referred to in Article 189, paragraph (1) of the Criminal Code of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Almost on a daily basis, the Prosecutor’s Office of Bosnia and Herzegovina, together with its partner institutions and agencies, implements activities related to the prosecution of criminal offenses of smuggling of migrants, in cities and areas throughout Bosnia and Herzegovina.
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.