UN police to investigate suspicious cash find in Kosovo

PRISTINA, Jan 6, 2000 -- (AFPe) Police in Kosovo said Thursday they would launch an investigation into how over half a million dollars in cash ended up in the apartment of the brother of key ethnic Albanian leader Hashim Thaci.

U.N. police and NATO troops operating in the province found the bundle of $530,000 in various currencies when they raided the apartment belonging to Gani Thaci, brother of former Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) chief Hashim Thaci, on Monday.

"It's not forbidden to have money in your house, but it's not normal to have such a large amount in various currencies," said U.N. police spokesman Mickael Pehl.

The spokesman added that the cash had been confiscated so police could begin "investigating its origin."

Two unlicensed guns were also found in the raid, which was prompted when NATO peacekeepers witnessed a volley of gunfire emerging from Thaci's flat during New Year festivities.

Firing weapons during major celebrations is reportedly a common practice in Kosovo.

Gani Thaci, 42, was released by police on Wednesday.

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