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    Polish police break up gang linked to pseudo football fans 

    Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

    A huge operation, involving nearly a thousand officers, was prepared and carried out on Tuesday by the Central Police Investigation Bureau (CBSP), under the supervision of the Silesian Branch of the National Public Prosecutor’s Office. In the course of the operation, 35 persons suspected of, among other things, participating in an organised criminal group linked to the environment of pseudo football fans were detained. According to the officers’ findings, the gang has a whole catalogue of crimes against life, health and property on its account.

    Rapid police operation

    On Tuesday, in the early morning in Katowice, Chorzow, Siemianowice Slaskie, Swietochlowice, Ruda Slaska, Myslowice, Mikolow, Tychy, Zory, Wyry, Naklo Slaskie, Bytom and Piekary Slaskie, a gigantic action aimed at breaking up an organised criminal group connected with pseudo football fans of one of Silesian football clubs started. Nearly 1,000 officers took part in the operation. Silesian police officers from the Central Police Investigation Bureau were supported by officers from the CBSP from all over the country, the Central Counter Terrorist Police Sub-Division BOA, the Provincial Police Headquarters in Katowice and Independent Counter Terrorist Police Sub-Divisions from almost all over the country.

    During the operation, 35 people were detained. Among the detainees is Lukasz Z., suspected of leading the group. During the operation, several dozen flats and other facilities used by the suspects were searched, while amphetamine, cannabis, 2CB, anabolic steroids, fire extinguishers and over PLN 71 000 and jewellery were secured. Various types of dangerous items were also secured, including machetes, knives, truncheons and incapacitating gas.

    The inside story of the investigation

    The operation is the result of many months of hard work by police officers from the Katowice Board of the Central Bureau of Investigation of the Police and prosecutors from the Silesian Branch of the Department for Organised Crime and Corruption of the National Prosecutor’s Office in Katowice. The investigation concerns an organised criminal group whose members originated from the environment of pseudo football fans of one of the Silesian sports clubs. 

    According to the findings of officers, the gang has a whole catalogue of crimes against life, health and property on its record, including extortion for robbery, abduction for ransom, batteries with the use of dangerous tools (the so-called “equipment”) in the form of machetes, clubs or metal pipes. They may also be responsible for fraud, the so-called VAT crime, crimes against the credibility of documents, the activities of state institutions or public order. The group was also involved in the trafficking of large quantities of narcotics and psychotropic substances. According to investigators, members of the group had a specific division of roles, sharing the benefits of the obtained crimes. To date, there are 110 suspects in the case.

    Serious crimes committed by the suspects

    Those detained during Tuesday’s operation were taken to the Silesian Branch of the National Public Prosecutor’s Office in Katowice, where a total of 120 charges were announced. They include, among others, beatings, including a beating with dangerous tools following which the victim died (the incident took place on 24.10.2017 in Ruda Slaska) and a brutal beating on 14.09.2017 in Ruda Slaska, where the victim was battered and taken to hospital with numerous fractures. Another crime occurred on 1.4.2010 in Myslowice, where several people were severely beaten with wooden batons. Investigators accuse some of the detainees of beating a man with batons and machetes on 25 August 2017 in Swietochlowice, Barlickiego Street, who suffered numerous injuries amounting to grievous bodily harm. The level of brutality during this incident was very high and the victim was attacked in the presence of his wife and child, who were also injured. The charges also relate to participation in an organised crime group and involvement in the trafficking of significant quantities of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances, i.e.: cannabis, cocaine, amphetamine, mephedrone or MDMA.

    Investigators are still carrying out activities in the case and do not rule out further arrests.

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