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Czech police raid Agriculture Ministry

Prague, Czech Republic – On Thursday morning, Czech police raided offices of the Agriculture Ministry.

According to local sources, the raid was carried out by the Czech police’s special unit in the fight against organized crime and conducted in connection with suspected subsidy fraud.

The surprise raid was supervised by chief public prosecutor of Prague Lenka Bradáčová, who said that no one had been arrested or detained in connection with the police operation.

Spokesman Jaroslav Ibehej confirmed the raid was linked to an ongoing criminal investigation, but didn’t provide any further details.

Local media reports ascertain that the raid was conducted in connection with the Restart subsidy program for the development of the Czech Republic‘s structurally affected borderland regions of Usti nad Labem, Karlovy Vary and Moravia-Silesia, which were supposed to receive 42 billion Czech crowns (around 1.6 billion euros) in grants by 2020.

Talking to local daily Denik N, Agriculture Minister Miroslav Toman (CSSD, Social Democrats) said that the ministry was cooperating with law enforcement authorities, but that the raid also concerned the Czech Republic’s Forestry Administration and was linked to an investigation into the ministry’s previous management, when it was led by former Agriculture Minister Marian Jurecka (KDU-CSL).

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