Balkans: Drug Smuggling Ring Broken

Published: 31 May 2013


Several individuals have been arrested for their alleged role in a transnational organized crime group responsible for trafficking cocaine from Latin America to Europe, B92 reported on Thursday.

Simultaneous law enforcement operations took place in Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia, Montenegro and the Netherlands. Authorities found four marijuana plantations and confiscated over 1,500 plants and over $1.3 million, B92 reported. The criminal syndicate is suspected of selling drugs in the Netherlands, Germany, Belgium and Spain.

Among those arrested was Hadži Zoran Jovanović, alleged to be the group leader. Jovanović, who was arrested in Belgium in 2007 and accused of smuggling 200kg of cocaine, was seized this time in Serbia. An alleged accomplice, Aleksandra Denica, was also arrested. Another suspect, Mirsad Hallilović, was arrested in Montenegro the same day. Investigations are still underway and are being coordinated by Europol, B92 reported.

This case highlights the continued role the Balkans plays in the international drug landscape. Earlier in May, infamous drug boss Naser Kelmendi was arrested in Kosovo for his alleged role in drug trafficking.