Drug arrests in Serbia, Montenegro and Italy

by B92

Four persons were arrested last night in Serbia on suspicion that they trafficked narcotics, acting as part of the Šarić gang

Darko Šarić, a Montenegrin with a Serbian passport, is a fugitive from justice indicted in Serbia as the mastermind behind a failed attempt last year to smuggle over two tons of cocaine from South America to Europe.

In Montenegro, Šarić's brother Duško was detained by police in the northern Montenegrin town of Pljevlja.

The Serbian raids were conducted by the security agency BIA, said reports. Those arrested have been identified as Zlatko Đorđević from Belgrade, and three Kragujevac residents: Goran Živanović, Gordana Milivojević-Rakić and Božidar Kapetanović.

Belgrade daily Blic writes that the suspects are linked to cocaine shipments that came in via ships docking in Italian ports.

In Montenegro, Podgorica's Dan newspaper writes that the arrest of Duško Šarić could be connected to a recent visit by Italian Prosceutor Pietro Grasso. The daily says that the Montenegrin Supreme Prosecution "has been informed about the action", and that they will now consult and decide whether to extradite the suspect, described as "businessman from Peljevlja", to Italy.

The Šarić brothers attorney, Josif Mićković, confirmed that Duško Šarić was arrested on an Italian warrant and on drug smuggling charges, but unrelated to the indictment against this brother, Darko Šarić.

This arrest came only days after Montenegro extradited Duško Mićunović, aka Duka, to Italy, where he is wanted on suspicion that he organized an international drug trafficking gang.

In the coastal Montenegrin town of Budva, two more arrests took place last night, when former Serbian Special Operations Unit (JSO) members were detained.

According to media reports, Vitomir Bojić and Srpko Klisura worked as security for Darko Šarić in Belgrade, and were arrested on a Serbian warrant.

However, Podgorica daily Vijesti writes today that the pair were released shortly after midnight on Tuesday, and that Montenegrin police told them they had been detained "because they resembled someone else".

But Dan newspaper reports that Bojić and Klisura were arrested in a hotel, and that there were no legal obstacles to their extradition to Serbia.

Meanwhile in Italy, more than 100 suspects were detained in a series of raids, among them a group that is believed to have organized a crime network based in Serbia and Slovenia, with Serbian, Montenegrin and Slovenian citizens among those arrested.

Italy's Ansa news agency reports that the leaders of the international crime group acted out of Serbia and Slovenia, and, according to police, organized the trafficking of huge amounts of cocaine from South America from 2007 until 2009.

The agency also says that the Italian investigation was launched in cooperation with interior ministries in Belgrade and Ljubljana.