State Investigation and Protection Agency
|Državna agencija za istrage i zaštitu|
Flag of the State Investigation and Protection Agency
|Headquarters||Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina|
|Motto||"Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger" |
"Jači, Brži, Bolji"
|Annual budget||BAM 31,555,000|
|Parent agency||None (Independent)|
The State Investigation and Protection Agency (SIPA) (Bosnian: Državna agencija za istrage i zaštitu, SIPA) is the official state police agency of Bosnia and Herzegovina. SIPA is under the direct administration of the Ministry of Security of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Essentially, it is Bosnia and Herzegovina's equivalent to the American FBI or the Russian Investigative Committee.
The closest non-military affiliated organization which almost served the same purpose as SIPA currently serves was the Information and Protection Agency (Bosnian: Agencija za zaštitu informacija) of the preceding Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina. It was formed in the capital city of Sarajevo in 1992 by the preceding Ministry of Internal Affairs, however due to the situation at the time, it focused more on urban combat. Most of the time, the IPA would be focused on joint operations with other Internal Affairs units, such as the Special Police Squad "Bosna" commanded by Dragan Vikić in defending Sarajevo from the VRS using their own knowledge of the city's urban landscape, such as eliminating VRS marksmen from the high-rise apartment and business buildings, but also assisted in the capture and arrests of notable crime bosses and money-launderers, as well as constricting the flow of human trafficking in the black market.
After the war, the Dayton Agreement was signed, giving way to the disbandment of the IPA, and the creation of the current day's SIPA, which was formed in 2002 by the current-day Ministry of Internal Affairs.
In accordance with the Law on State Investigation and Protection Agency and in accordance with other regulations, SIPA performs tasks within its jurisdiction throughout the state of Bosnia and Herzegovina. It is also the basic tool of stability and the tool for making the people of Bosnia and Herzegovina feel safe and secure from threats within the state.
The activities of SIPA include the arrests of persons that are suspected of committing war crimes, as well as successful investigations of money-laundering activities, combating organized crime and terrorism, provision of witnesses with protection and support, and the formation and development of a special unit.
SIPA started off with just three employees, whereas today it has over 850 employees working in 11 organizational units at the headquarters of the agency and in 4 regional offices within the cities of Sarajevo, Tuzla, Banja Luka, and Mostar. Through the activities they carry out, the employees of the Agency provide hope in the better and safer future for all the citizens of BiH.
SIPA Units are equipped like most counter-terrorist units around the world; with a vast array of specialized firearms including the Yugoslavian-made Zastava M70, as well as other variants in 7.62 mm such as the AK74 and AK74U, as well as 5.56 mm caliber assault rifles such as the M4A1 carbine.
There are also other weapons in different calibers such as the Heckler & Koch MP5, H&K G3, G36, various sniper rifles, pistols such as the CZ 99 and Glock 17, and non-lethal weapons such as riot control agents, stun grenades, and miscellaneous equipment including heavy body armor, entry tools, and night vision optics.
Because they recognized the importance of the agency, many ambassadors and representatives from international organizations visited SIPA. Some Embassies even donated equipment and other material and technical support. SIPA cooperates, on regular basis, with EUPM and ICITAP, the result of which are the tasks performed in accordance with international standards and also the staff trained at some of the most renowned police institutions throughout the world.
- SIPA is a government agency within the Ministry of Security of B&H. It has operational independence; it was founded for the purpose of doing police work. The head of SIPA is its Director.
- SIPA works on the basis of professionalism, without representing, protecting or undermining the interests of any political party, or any registered organization or society, any constituent peoples or any other peoples in B&H.
- After adopting the following set of laws in 2004, out of the Agency for Information and Protection SIPA turned into a police body:
- Law on State Investigation and Protection Agency,
- Law on Police Employees,
- Law on Prevention of Money Laundering,
- Law on the Protection of Threatened and Endangered Witnesses,
- Law on Witness Protection Program in B&H, etc.
Within the area of its legally determined jurisdiction, SIPA deals with prevention, detection and investigations of organized crime, terrorism and illegal trade—ABHO, war crimes and acts punishable according to the international war and humanitarian law, people trafficking, as well as all other crimes within the jurisdiction of the Court of B&H.
SIPA provides help for the Court and the Office of the Prosecutor of B&H, it deals with physical and technical protection of people, of buildings and other property protected under the Law on SIPA; it also deals with witness protection, prevention of money laundering as well as other tasks determined by law and by other regulations.
- the fight against organized crime
- investigations of terrorism and terrorist activities
- money laundering and financing of terrorist activities
- investigations of war crimes and arrests of the persons suspected of committing war crimes
- "State Investigation and Protection Agency - About us". State Investigation and Protection Agency.
- SIPA, Bosnia and Herzegovina. "History of the agency". sipa.gov.ba. Retrieved 4 October 2014.
- Structure of SIPA, BIH. "Organisational structure of SIPA". sipa.gov.ba. Retrieved 4 October 2014.