Police: 185 mafia men in capital
SLOVAK police last year monitored and registered 22 criminal groups operating around the country. These groups are involved in mainly violent, property and various economic crimes, according to a 2004 security report published by the Interior Ministry, the SITA news agency wrote.
According to the report, the police last year managed to break up 16 groups that were smuggling refugees. Another two groups were partly destroyed.
"It is very difficult to identify how many members an individual gang has because some of the members of such groups migrate between gangs operating within the country," the report stated.
However, the police published the estimated numbers for members of criminal groups according to regions.
The report says there are 86 mafia members in Eastern Slovakia, of which 66 are permanent members and the remaining 20 "external" members.
In Central Slovakia there are 50 permanent and 12 external members.
In Western Slovakia the criminals do not have any external accomplices and only operate with 52 permanent members, according to the security report.
Criminal gangs are highly active in the capital.
"In the Bratislava territory the members migrate between the individual criminal groups. Therefore it is only possible to estimate the numbers in the criminal groups as a whole, which is about 185," stated the report.
According to the material, the territorial division of crime has unfolded based on the division of power.
In the Bratislava region, there are three criminal gangs. The groups competed to gain access to lucrative business activities in and outside the Bratislava area, resulting in a gang war. Six mafia bosses were murdered and one survived an attempt on his life.
The report says that the surviving members have tried to regroup and regain influence but have failed and the gangs' activities have slumped.
Students face fines for A-plant photos
TWO Vienna university students - one from Bratislava and one from Austria - were arrested by security guards for taking pictures of themselves in front of the Slovakia's Jaslovské Bohunice nuclear power plant on March 13.
According to Slovakia's law on classified information, taking photographs in front of strategic facilities is forbidden, the TASR news agency reported.
Warning signs on all access roads to nuclear plants inform the public that they are approaching such facilities.
The students may be fined up to Sk50,000 (€1,330).
DIRECTOR of the Myjava school opens the door of the class, in which pupils threatened a teacher.
Children planned to murder teacher
A MURDER plot hatched by three pupils from an elementary school in Myjava in western Slovakia's Trnava region went awry on March 9 before reaching a possibly tragic end, school director Jarmila Maliariková told the TASR news agency two days later.
According to TASR, the 12-year-olds were trying to obtain a gun, but instead brought eight knives to school, where they planned to murder their teacher, Alžbeta Malečková. The case has caused a major public stir, reviving debates about what many media outlets say is a growing aggressiveness amongst Slovak children.
Police spokesperson Katarína Hlaváčová said the case would be investigated as an attempted wounding. She would not confirm, however, whether police had any information that the boys had made progress in their efforts to get the firearm.
According to existing information, the pupils had been preparing the attack for several days and even told their classmates about the plot. Afterwards, they wanted to steal a car and go abroad or commit suicide, TASR reported.
However, events did not go as planned. One of the boys attacked a classmate during a lesson, another one then told him to kill the teacher. The originally targeted teacher, however, was not in class at that moment but the boys wanted to go on and attack the substitute instead.
However, the two accomplices, including the one who was encouraging his friend to kill the teacher, got frightened and ran out of the class.
Meanwhile, the teacher told all the pupils to run away from the classroom. The third boy ran away too, dropping the knife as he escaped.
Maliariková said that the boys had also threatened four other classmates. However, she does not think they would have tried to kill them. "They were probably supposed to be hostages," she said.
The motive for the plan is unknown. All three boys were average pupils and did not have any apparent problems with Malečková.
"We hope the investigators will do everything to ensure that the boys don't return [to the school], because other classmates don't want them around," said Maliariková.
According to existing legislation, the boys cannot be prosecuted. However, the law enables problematic children to be placed under institutional supervision. There are special school and board facilities in Slovakia for such children.
Thumbs up for taxi-bus
THE RESIDENTS of the town of Banská Štiavnica in Central Slovakia no longer have to rush to the bus stop to get the bus. Local entrepreneur Ján Teren decided to use his eight-seat minibus to pick passengers up anywhere around town.
All anyone need do is signal that they want a ride and Teren stops. He'll take them anywhere they need to go in the town.
The minibus started work in Banská Štiavnica at the beginning of March, the Nový Čas daily wrote.
Locals embraced the idea. After all, the minibus ride costs Sk10, just Sk1 more than the regular town transportation.
"It's a sort of a cross between a taxi and a town bus," Teren told the daily.
The minibus provides welcome relief to the town's public transport service, which is infrequent to say the least.
The Banská Štiavnica mayor is happy with the idea.
"We want another bus of this type shortly," he said.
Every day, the minibus carries around 200 passengers.
Man dies after fall from car
A 40-YEAR-OLD man died after falling out of a car driven by his wife.
The accident took place on March 15 near the village of Jesenské in southern Slovakia's Rimavská Sobota region, the Pravda daily wrote.
For reasons that remain unclear the man's 39-year-old spouse had problems controlling the car.
As the car rounded a right-hand bend it suddenly swerved to the left, flew over a ditch and somersaulted several times before coming to a stop back on its wheels.
Unfortunately, while the car was in the air the man fell out. He died immediately.
A breath test on the woman proved negative. Police are continuing their investigations.
Case of the missing Sk250,000
AN UNNAMED 45-year-old man from Spišský Štiavnik lost a case with Sk250,000 (€6,480) inside in his doctor's waiting room.
According to the TASR news agency, the man went to see his GP in Poprad on March 1. Before entering the doctor's surgery, he left the leather case on the floor in the nurse's reception room. The money was inside the bag in an envelope with the logo of an insurance company.
The man found out that the money was gone after he left the doctor's surgery. After failing to find out what had happened he turned to the police.
28. Mar 2005 at 0:00