Slovakian police have raided houses linked to alleged Italian mafia members in connection with the recent fatal shooting of journalist Jan Kuciak.
National police chief Tibor Gaspar told reporters in the eastern city of Kosice that seven men aged between 26 and 62 have been detained.
Mr Gaspar said they were being held as suspects with the approval of state prosecutors following the raids in the towns of Michalovce and Trebisov.
Slovakian media reported that one of those detained was Antonino Vadala, an Italian who conducted business with at least two officials close to Prime Minister Robert Fico. Those officials – a senior adviser to Mr Fico and the secretary of the country’s security council – resigned from their posts on Wednesday.
The bodies of 27-year-old Mr Kuciak and his girlfriend, Martina Kusnirova, were found on Sunday evening in their house in Velka Maca, east of the capital, Bratislava. They had both been shot.
Mr Kuciak’s last, unfinished story was about the activities of the Italian ‘Ndrangheta syndicate in Slovakia.
Slovakia’s interior minister said Scotland Yard, the FBI and other foreign agencies are helping authorities investigate the killings.
Robert Kalinak previously said Czech and Italian police forces as well Europol have been co-operating with their Slovakian counterparts in the investigation.