Serbian Fugitive Mafia Boss Arrested in Spain
The Spanish authorities confirmed today Luka Bojovic was among the four Serbian nationals arrested in Valencia, Spain on Thursday. Bojovic, the head of the infamous Zemun organized crime group, allegedly participated in over 20 murders in Serbia, Croatia, Montenegro, the Netherlands, and Spain. In September 2010, Interpol issued an international arrest warrant for Bojovic.
Serbian police were tipped off to Bojovic’s whereabouts from one of his close associates, Milos Bata Petrovic, who is currently in prison in the Netherlands. The Serbian police forwarded the information to the Spanish police, leading to Bojovic’s arrests after a yearlong joint operation between the Spanish and Serbian authorities. Petrovic was convicted for the murder of Srdan Miranovic, a close associate of Petrovic’s rival Sreten Jocic, known as “Joca Amsterdam.” Petrovic is regarded as one of the leaders of the Serbian mafia in the Netherlands.
In Serbia, Bojovic is on trial in absentia for the attempted murders of Andrija Draskovic and Zoran Nedovic, and the murders of Branko Jeftovic Jorga, Dejan Zivancevic and Milutin Jovicic in 2004. During the early 1990s, Bojovic was a member of the infamous 'Tigers' paramilitary group headed by indicted war criminal Zeljko “Arkan” Raznatovic. Arkan’s Tigers were involved in the ethnic cleansing of towns in Bosnia and Herzegovina during the war there in the early 1990s. Serbian prosecutors believe that Bojovic attempted to kill Draskovic and Nedovic, and murdered Jeftovic because of their alleged involvement in Arkan’s January, 2000 murder in Belgrade.
According to the indictment issued by the Serbian Prosecutor for Organized Crime, Bojovic rose through the ranks after the previous leaders of the Zemun clan, Dusan Spasojevic and Mile Lukovic, were murdered in March of 2003. In May 2004 the next leader in line, Milorad Ulemek Legija, was arrested for his involvement in the assassination of Serbian Prime Minister Zoran Djindjic , clearing the way for Bojovic to take charge.
Bojović was arrested in October 2007, on suspicions of harboring members of the Zemun clan charged in the Djindjic murder. Due to a lack of evidence, he was only convicted for illegal weapons possession, and spent 15 months in prison. According to the indictment, Bojovic provided financial assistance, false identifications, weapons, and lodging to the fugitives.
Bojovic allegedly also has ties to Willem Holleeder, a Dutch criminal famous for the 1983 kidnapping of Freddy Heineken, owner of the Heineken brewery.
Serbian authorities will likely request Bojovic’s extradition as both Serbia and Spain are signatories of the European Convention on Extradition.
This article has been corrected to reflect the actual charges against Bojovic
According to a statement issued by the Serbian Ministry of Internal Affairs in September of 2007, Luka Bojovic was arrested on suspicion of harboring fugitive members of the Zemun clan, production and sale of narcotics, illegal weapons and explosives possession, and falsification of documents. Bojovic was eventually indicted and convicted for document forgery and illegal possession of weapons and explosives. The court sentenced him to 15 months in prison.