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Kosovo privatisation officials arrested in multi-million-euro fraud

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(PRISTINA) - Police on Wednesday arrested 10 officials of Kosovo's privatisation agency suspected of embezzling millions of euros during the sale of a factory.

The officials are accused of triggering the bankruptcy of the factory in northern Kosovo which produced concrete reinforcements, a police statement said.

It said "several million euros" had been embezzled without giving a more precise figure.

Kosovo has earned some 600 million euros ($830 million) since it began privatising its public and state-owned firms 10 years go, but the process has been beset by corruption allegations.

Among those arrested were two top officials of the Privatisation Agency of Kosovo which is responsible for overseeing the sale of state property, as well as a local businessman.

An unnamed lawmaker from the main opposition Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK) party is also wanted for involvement in the group, but police said he was currently in Albania and could not be reached.

The LDK identified the MP as Naser Osmani and said he would "soon be available to justice."

Police also raided the agency's premises and homes of the suspects.


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