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Man dies of heart attack in police raid aimed at detaining suspected usurers

Milos P. died of a heart attack following a police raid to combat usury in Nálepkovo, eastern Slovakia, on July 18.

He was one of seven Roma individuals the police wanted to question and indict on usury charges. Košice police said that autopsy results show that the 45-year old man died of a heart attack.

During the police raid, as officers were detaining suspects, Milos P. was among those who tried to escape. He fell as was crossing a nearby brook and the police helped him out of the water and ordered him to remain on the ground. He was handcuffed but thereafter he allegedly began complaining of having health problems. The police officer immediately took him to a doctor, who called an ambulance. However, emergency personnel were unable to save the man. The police alledgedly recorded the whole raid on camera, the SITA newsire wrote.

During the raid, police confiscated evidence and about Sk300,000 that the suspects had collected in the form of usury from citizens of the Roma community in Nálepkovo.

A total of six persons were taken into police custody. Two were later released but four were accused of usury and are now possibly facing three to eight years of imprisonment if convicted.

In the last three years the accused have alledgedly abused and caused distress to several people in Nálepkovo, providing them, on the basis of mutual agreement, with monthly loans ranging from Sk500 to Sk5,000 with a 100 percent interest rate. Thus, they reportedly collected Sk25,000 from one person while squeezing at least Sk96,000 and Sk20,000 from two other aggrieved parties.

Evidence shows that Milos P., who died in the raid, also committed the crime of usury.

Compiled by Martina Jurinová from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.

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