December 19, 2016 / 6:26 PM / in 7 months

Kosovo arrests 59 officers in traffic police corruption probe

2 Min Read

PRISTINA (Reuters) - Kosovo's police force has arrested around 60 of its own officers following a four-month corruption investigation, after drivers filed complaints about traffic police asking them for bribes.

The police said it had audio and video recordings that showed officers involved in incidents of bribery.

"After interviewing, they were sent to a detention centre where they will stay for the next 48 hours," the police said in a statement. All the officers have been suspended, they said.

The defendants are mainly from the northern town of Mitrovica, which is mostly Albanian but has a Serb minority. Police said 23 of the officers concerned are Serbs, one is Bosniak and the rest are Albanian.

The prosecution will also file charges against 30 members of the public for allegedly offering bribes.

Western governments that backed Kosovo's declaration of independence from Serbia in 2008 have warned the small country that it must do more to fight endemic corruption.

Graft and organised crime have been cited as the main obstacles for the Balkan country in attracting foreign investment.

Reporting by Fatos Bytyci; Editing by Hugh Lawson

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