Interior Minister Nebojsa Stefanovic announced on Wednesday that 74 persons suspected of corruption have been arrested.

According to him, Operation Signal was carried out by the Interior Ministry (MUP) in cooperation with prosecution offices, the tax police, and the security agency BIA.

A MUP statement quoted Stefanovic as saying that the operation “dealt a strong blow” to financial crime and corruption, especially when it comes to abuses occurring in state institutions.

The operation was carried out on Wednesday morning in 19 towns across Serbia. Beside the 74 suspects that have been placed under arrest, criminal complaints have been filed against 46 others, while the police are still looking for three persons.

The charges against the suspects include money laundering, tax evasion, fraud, abuse of office, giving and receiving bribes, and counterfeiting money.

The damage to the state budget, and the provincial budget of Vojvodina, and budgets of several local-self governments amounts to approximately two billion Serbian dinars (RSD), Stefanovic said.

Among those arrested are two mayors, two former mayors, and 14 current and former directors of state and private companies, while criminal complaints have been filed against several local officials.

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