Twenty people were apprehended Wednesday after the Una-Sana Canton's (USK) Prosecution and Bosnia's special police conducted an operation called “Pero” (feather) on suspicion of selling fake diplomas and certificates, the Prosecution said.
The operation was the result of a five-month investigation of the USK's Prosecution against 58 suspects who were investigated for the abuse of office, taking of a bribe, forging of documents, money laundering and tax evasion.
The Prosecution said the suspects allegedly issued certificates, elementary, high school and university diplomas for money, from 2014 to date. This practice allegedly took place in Cazin, Bihac, Tuzla, Zenica, Sarajevo and East Sarajevo where they acted as an organised group.
During this time, the Prosecution said the group issues several thousand illegal documents, earning them several million Euros in the process.
Over the course of the investigation, the statement said, the Prosecution god hold of over 300 fake diplomas.
Three of the said 58 suspects are also suspected of using the illegally acquired funds to buy real estate, thus laundering them.
Bosnia's special police called the State Investigation and Protection Agency (SIPA) conducted raids on several locations in Cazin, Bihac, Tuzla, Zenica, Sarajevo, East Sarajevo and Visoko, after which they found over €2.5 million on the accounts of the suspects, believed to be acquired illegally.
All the suspects were taken in for questioning after which the Prosecution will decide on further action.
In January this year, a journalist from the Zurnal investigative media outlet allegedly bought a state-verified secondary medical school diploma which said her average grade was “B.”