Bosnian state prosecutors filed an organized crime indictment against eight people, the first such indictment based on information gathered from an encrypted app.
The indictment was based partly on evidence gathered after the SKY ECC and Anom apps were cracked by investigators. Both apps were used by gang members for encrypted communication.
All eight individuals named in the indictment have been accused of organized crime, drug trafficking and money laundering. They have also been accused of carrying out the murder of Radenko Basic, the head of the criminal police in Bosnia’s city of Prijedor.
According to the allegations, the accused “smuggled the narcotic drugs cocaine and marijuana on several occasions” following “a prior mutual agreement using encrypted applications.” They then allegedly “smuggled, transported, hid and then marketed on the illegal drug market in Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as abroad.”
Prosecutors also claim that alleged ring leader Dalibor Railic used the money earned through drug trafficking to purchase luxury vehicles and properties.
In addition to the organized crime charges, Railic is also accused of organising the murder of Basic.
Basic was reportedly shot dead by Aleksandar Mijatovic “in a public place in the early hours of the morning, which, due to the cruelty of the execution, as well as the fact that it was the murder of a police officer, severely impaired the security situation in Prijedor and throughout Bosnia and Herzegovina,” say prosecutors.
Miljatovic allegedly shot Basic through a plastic bag, after which he removed the clothes he was wearing and set them on fire. He told investigators that he committed the murder for 50,000 euros under the orders of Dalibor Railic.
Railic is currently in police custody, which has been extended to his risk of escape. Police are also concerned that he could obstruct the investigation and hide evidence if he were to be released on bail.
Bosnian prosecutors said they plan to submit hundreds of pieces of evidence, including evidence garnered from the encrypted app Sky ECC and Anom.
In mid-November, prosecutors confirmed that evidence obtained from cracking the encrypted messaging apps would be valid in court. It also said that more than 100 people arrested over the past one and a half years would be charged in connection to the evidence.
Investigators suspect that those arrested have been members of an interconnected and organized criminal group since 2019, communicating via encrypted apps to commit various criminal activities.
The coming court hearings are expected to be some of the most complicated court proceedings in the history of the country.
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