The Office for the Suppression of Corruption and Organised Crime (USKOK) on Friday opened an investigation into 15 suspects who are believed to have conspired to launder over 630 million kuna.
According to a press release issued on USKOK's web site on Friday, this Croatian agency combating serious fraud alleges that the two prime suspects conspired to make illegal gains, that is proceeds of crime, appear legal and that for that purpose they committed a series of crimes since mid-2014 in Croatia and Italy.
The suspects sent fictitious invoices to Italian companies about purported sales of gold and other precious metals, and over 638 million kuna was paid to four companies registered in Croatia as part of the money-laundering scheme.
According to media reports, the clamp-down on this criminal ring seems to have been intensified after a heist in the Zagreb central police precinct building, when two kilograms of gold and 280,000 euros were stolen from a safe in the office of a senior police official in the night between 3 and 4 April.
Of those 15 suspects, 13 were arrested on Thursday, while the media report that the two prime suspects were beyond the reach of Croatian authorities. After hearing that they were wanted by the Croatian police, they have allegedly said that they will come back to Croatia.