Serbian police have arrested 79 people, including a former minister, on corruption charges.
Interior Minister Nebojsa Stefanovic said December 26 that those arrested were accused of embezzling a combined 7.8 billion dinars ($70 million).
He said the suspects were charged with offenses including abuse of office, money laundering, and financial crimes.
Several executives of state-owned companies, two former interior ministry officials, and several mayors were also among those arrested.
Authorities in Serbia, which on December 14 opened accession talks with the European Union, are working to root out a legacy of corruption that gained a strong foothold during the Yugoslav wars of the 1990s.
Based on reporting by Reuters and Tanjug