21 Oct 14
Fugitive Montenegrin Drugs Baron Arrested
Suspected Montenegrin drug king pin Safet Kalic has been arrested in Austria, after more than three years on the run.
Montenegrin police on Monday confirmed that Safet Kalic had been arrested abroad on an international warrant issued at the request of the Montenegrin authorities and Interpol.
Kalic is suspected of money laundering millions of euros earned from selling drugs as the boss of the so-called Rozaje Clan.
He was reportedly one of the biggest drug bosses in the Balkans and a close associate to Darko Saric, another drugs baron suspected of smuggling tons of cocaine.
The police said Kalic had been arrested in “a European country” but media reports quoted several unnamed senior police officers confirming that Kalic was arrested in Austria.
“Kalic is suspected of having run a large money laundering scheme from 2006 to 2011 by taking out loans in Montenegrin commercial banks and paying them back with illegal money, attempting to create an impression of the legal origin of the money,” a police statement said.
Kalic left Montenegro in July 2011 and was believed to be hiding in Turkey. His wife Amina and brother Mersudin were later arrested at their homes in Rozaje.
A trial against Kalic and members of his family for money laundering ended on October 6 in the High Court in Bijelo Polje. Sentencing is scheduled for early November.
Under a decision of the Montenegrin judiciary, assets worth more than 22 million euro were seized in 2012.
Kalic was identified by Serbian police as a major drug boss in the former state union of Serbia and Montenegro back in 2003.
He was linked to several people in the so-called Zemun clan, the crime gang held responsible for the assassination of Serbian Prime Minister Zoran Djindjic in 2003.
A video of his wedding posted on YouTube in May 2010 showed many guests from the Balkan criminal fraternity – as well as officials from the Montenegrin National Security Agency.
Among the guests were Saric himself and Ljubisa Buha Cume, former chief of the Zemun gang, who became the Serbian prosecution’s chief protected witness concerning the Djindjic murder.
Source: Balkan Insight (Montenegro)