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Bosnia arrests 54 in corruption crackdown

Bosnian police on Wednesday arrested 54 people, including a former tax chief, in what authorities say is the country's largest corruption investigation in decades.

SARAJEVO: Bosnian police on Wednesday arrested 54 people, including a former tax chief, in what authorities say is the country's largest corruption investigation in decades.

Prosecutors are investigating the embezzlement of millions of euros by tax officials through the import of textiles and other goods.

Those arrested on Wednesday are suspected of involvement in "organised crime, customs and tax frauds, money laundering and abuse of power," a statement from prosecutors said.

"Fifty-four people were arrested, among them 30 customs and tax officials, as well as a former head of tax administration."

Local media identified one of those detained as Kemal Causevic, who led Bosnia's tax administration from 2003 to 2011. He was sacked after it was revealed that he had bought a dozen of flats and other properties while holding the post.

The statement added that the probe was "the largest corruption investigation since the end of the war" in Bosnia in the 1990s.

The former Yugoslav republic is considered one of the Balkan countries most blighted by corruption. However, local politicians and civil servants are rarely brought to justice.

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