Fugitive Czech businessman Tomáš Pitr arrested in Switzerland
Swiss police have arrested the fugitive Czech businessman Tomáš Pitr, who in the Czech Republic faces 11 years in prison for tax evasion and embezzlement. The multi-billionaire was on the run for more than three years. Czech authorities believe that if extradited to the Czech Republic, he could provide crucial information about the infiltration by organized crime into state structures.
“We have been investigating certain crimes for quite some time now, that led us to very concrete and precise information about when and where Tomáš Pitr should be staying. We then gave this information to our Swiss colleagues, and based on that, Mr Pitr was arrested on Monday, July 26, at 11 PM at the Kempinski Hotel in St Moritz.”
Czech authorities will now request his extradition. Czech Justice Minister Jiří Pospíšil describes the immediate course of action.
If Mr Pitr does end up in Czech prison, and if he decides to talk, he might throw more light on the links between organized crime and politics that plagued the Czech Republic not so long ago. Jaroslav Kmenta is a reporter with the daily Mladá fronta Dnes who has been following the case for years.
But according to the Swiss Justice ministry, Mr Pitr’s extradition might take up to a year. Several Czech experts even suggest the extradition request might be refused as the acts committed by Mr Pitr may not constitute a crime in Switzerland.