North Macedonia arrests nine border police officers for corruption

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By AP  with Euronews
The police officers were all stationed at the Tabanovce border crossing.
The police officers were all stationed at the Tabanovce border crossing.   -  Copyright  AP Photo/Boris Grdanoski, File

Nine police officers have been arrested in North Macedonia for allegedly taking bribes from motorists at the Serbian border.

The suspects -- all stationed at the Tabanovce crossing in the north of the country -- face charges of "criminal association, bribery, and abuse of authority."

They are accused of taking cash and gifts from people who wanted to skip normal border procedures for crossing into Serbia.

Those arrested include the police station's commander and his deputy. A further three officers have been charged but were not detained.

Police said the group had operated in an organised manner for more than two years. If tried and convicted, the suspects could each face up to 20 years in prison.

North Macedonia's government has pledged to tackle corruption amid accession talks with the European Union.