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    International Investigation Launched into Theft of Rare Books from University of Warsaw Library

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    The spokesperson for the District Prosecutor’s Office in Warsaw, Prosecutor Szymon Banna, announced that the investigation into the theft of volumes from the University of Warsaw Library has been transferred to the District Prosecutor’s Office in Warsaw due to its international dimension.

    Banna revealed that the Military Affairs Department specialists are now leading the investigation. The university’s rector reported additional thefts occurring since December 2022, with dozens of original books replaced by replicas.

    While not formally designated as antiques, the stolen books hold significant cultural and unique value. The estimated loss stands at approximately €0.5 million, pending an ongoing audit at the University of Warsaw Library.

    Similar thefts occurred in Baltic countries, prompting an international collaboration of prosecutors through Eurojust. Fingerprints, DNA analysis, and witness interviews are underway. The investigation is evolving, and cooperation with other affected countries’ law enforcement is emphasized.

    The case began on November 2, 2023, with books borrowed but not returned. The rector suspects the thefts may have started earlier. Approximately 80 items were stolen, leading to the dismissal of the BUW director in October 2023.

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