Czech Republic: Government Offices Raided in Organized Crime Sweep
Several high-ranking Czech officials including the top aide to Prime Minister Petr Nečas were detained in the course of a massive sweep by the country’s organized crime police forces on Thursday, the BBC reported.
Four hundred police officers raided government buildings, the prime minister’s office, and multiple businesses and confiscated documents, money, and even gold during the searches, the BBC reported. A police spokesperson said the raids were part of a months-long investigation by anti-corruption authorities the Australian reported.
The prime minister voiced his support for Jana Nagyova, his aide who was among those arrested. Nečas also rebuffed calls that he resign saying he had done nothing dishonest. Czech President Milos Zeman has called for crisis talks with Nečas, the national police chief, and the opposition leader, in the wake of the raids, the BBC reported.
Roman Janoušek, a wealthy Czech businessman who has been accused of corruption and money laundering in the Czech media, was also targeted . Janoušek was investigated for money laundering by Swiss authorities in 2009. They froze his accounts, worth more than $120 million at the time. The Czech press has also questioned the controversial lobbyist and businessman’s cozy relationship with Czech politicians and his track record of securing government tenders.