The massive raid against alleged organised crime group Pito’s Gang, which involved over 300 special police officers and a helicopter, got some criticism for being over the top, but interior minister Daniel Lipsic has hit back at a press conference today.
The operation led to the arrest of 20 suspected members of the gang with a total of 23 accused, in a co-ordinated raid in various locations on Monday, on various charges like defrauding mortgage loans in the USA, car burning and drug activities.
In response to claims that the use of a helicopter in a residential area at 4.30 in the morning was excessive, Lipsic explained that the house of alleged gang leader Juraj O, alias Pito, was like a fortress with 5m walls all round.
Although sympathising with local residents, Lipsic said the police had to hit hard, as Potp’s gang was a highly dangerous mob that toured Bratislava with bullet-proof vests and cars.
The courts have yielded to 15 police demands to keep the accused in custody, including leader Juraj O, with minister Lipsic confident of the weight of evidence against them.