Interior Minister says police afraid
Interior Minister Ladislav Pittner said at a Bratislava press conference on November 23 that he was shocked when several police officers whom he had nominated to take over district command posts refused the positions, citing brutal threats and fears of mafia retribution. Pittner refused to name the policemen in question. The minister also said that the parliamentary behaviour of former secret service boss Ivan Lexa reminded him of the arrogance of members of the underworl gang of crime boss Mikuláš Černák before they were taken into custody by police in early 1998.
Fake robbery revealed
Policemen from Lučenec in the central Banská Bystrica region discovered that a November 17 robbery, committed by an unknown offender who threatened two persons in a car with a pistol, was a conspiracy involving the driver.
The crime occured at 22:00 in the area of Tomášovce village in Lučenec district. An unknown hitch-hiker offered two men in a car, both aged 18, payment of 500 Sk ($17) for driving him to the nearby town of Rimavská Sobota. Once in the car, the hitch-hiker put on a mask and threatened the driver with a pistol from the back seat. He demanded money and identification cards, but received only 50 Sk ($1.70) from the driver and a mobile phone from the passenger. Later, the thief ordered the passenger to get out and left for Lučenec with the driver. The unknown offender then disappeared into the town.
According to the investigation report, the "robber" was 18-year-old Marián from Lučenec, who had plotted with Maroš, the driver of the car, to rob Maroš's friend of his mobile phone. The two young men were detained by regional police and charged with robbery on November 20.
Fatal results of Rambo-like robbery
A nationwide police bulletin has been issued for an unknown 17 to 20 year-old armed robber who wounded a 38-year-old shop assistant and killed a 32-year-old woman on November 23 in the central Slovak city of Brezno.
The incident took place at FDP Market shortly before 11 a.m., when the robber, instead of paying 6,000 Sk for military equipment and clothing, pointed a 9-mm gun at the 38-year-old shop assistant and co-owner of the shop. She tried to push his hand away, but he fired and hit her in the lower abdomen. She was taken to hospital in Brezno, where she remains in stable condition.
According to police reports, the robber also shot dead a mother of two children, who worked as a shop assistant at the neighbouring drugstore and happened to be a witness to the first shooting. The shooter later committed suicide in police custody on November 25.
Three defraud lottery office
Three employees of Košice's Tipos lottery office defrauded their company of 2.1 million Sk ($60,000) from September 1 to 10. The three counter clerks laid bets worth the above amount with Keno 10 and Športka lotteries without paying for them, believing that they would win enough money to pay their employer off and make some easy extra money as well. Unfortunately, they did not win a single penny on their wagers, and their get-rich-quick scheme was discovered by their office manager. The three gamblers were detained by the police and charged with fraud on November 20.
Compiled by Ivan Remiaš
30. Nov 1998 at 0:00