Repeat Trafficker Caught in Large Heroin Bust

Serbian authorities recently arrested one of the country’s most notorious narcotics traffickers, who continued to distribute heroin even after being sentenced to more than five years in prison.

Serbian police arrested Hikmet Hajrovic on October 6 in the southern Serbia city of Novi Pazar, which sits along the primary Balkan drug route to Europe.  Police seized over 100 kilograms of heroin which had been mixed with paracetamol and caffeine.

The authorities also raided a lab they suspect Hajrovic used to make and mix drugs in Tutina, Hajrovic’s birthplace.

Twenty others suspected were also arrested all over Serbia in conjunction with the investigation.  Police said 16 of them are suspected of being part of a smuggling operation led by Dalibor Ristic, a Belgrade resident allegedly oversees the distribution of between five to seven kilograms of heroin each week.

Police Director Milorad Veljović told the press that the group is suspected of being connected to at least three murders in Belgrade.

Hajrovic was considered by police a prolific drug trafficker as early as ten years ago.  The Serbian police’s 2001 ‘white book,’ a comprehensive overview of those accused of criminal activity, has Hajrovic mentioned as a heroin distributor.  Darko Erceg, convicted of dealing drugs in Serbia in 2008, named Hajrovic as one of his distributors.

The Special Court for Organized Crime in Belgrade sentenced Hajrovic in May to five and a half years in prison, but he was not taken into custody and continued selling drugs, according to police.

Hajrovic based his operation in Novi Pazar, a town in Serbia’s predominantly Muslim Sandzak region, which is notorious for drug trafficking. .  This was the largest single drug seizure in the Sandzak region to date.

Hajrovic’s father was arrested ten years ago in Poland for dealing drugs, and his sister Zenhira, a former beauty queen, was sentenced in July to a year in prison for her involvement dealing narcotics.