Interior Minister fires NPJ head

INTERIOR Minister Vladimír Palko fired Director of the National Anti-Drug Unit (NPJ) Igor Kostal from the Police Force after members of the unit seriously violated several laws.

Palko also announced November 22 that Koštál's deputy was demoted to the level of ordinary policeman, while Koštál was replaced by the director of the Police Force's Organised Crime Office, Peter Kožík.

The NPJ breached the rules by using service cars for private purposes, such as vacations and errands with family members. The unit also allegedly spent its money on purposes other than its operation. In addition, Palko said that NPJ employees took several foreign-service trips that were not approved by the Ministry.

According to Palko, the NPJ has been behaving this way for the past three years and 20 of its members are under suspicion. They will face disciplinary action, recall or dismissal from the Police Force.

Palko received reports of the alleged violations of NPJ rules shortly after taking over the post of Interior Minister in October. The case was examined by the Police Force Presidium's supervisory group and the Inspection Office.

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