Regional co-operation leads to arrest of reputed drug boss

A motorcade carrying Darko Saric arrives in Belgrade. [AFP]

Regional co-operation leads to arrest of reputed drug boss

After five years on the run, suspected drug lord Darko Saric is apprehended in a joint operation between Serbia and Montenegro.

A motorcade carrying Darko Saric arrives in Belgrade. [AFP]

The arrest of alleged Balkan drug lord Darko Saric is the result of intense co-operation between Serbia and Montenegro, officials said, hailing the apprehension of one of the region's most notorious suspected criminals.

Saric's arrest on March 18th in Belgrade was an action that included global police and secret service agencies. He is being charged in Serbia with trafficking 5.7 tonnes of cocaine and laundering at least 22 million euros, Miljko Radisavljevic, Serbia's organised crime prosecutor, said.

Saric has been on the run since October 2009, when a shipment of 2.7 tonnes of cocaine that he allegedly organised was discovered by police near the Uruguayan Atlantic coast.

Montenegro and Serbia said they have been working together on the operation for more than a year.

"In August 2013, we formed a common investigative team with our Serbian colleagues, and our co-operation resulted in Saric's arrest," Montenegro Justice Minister Dusko Markovic told SETimes.

On February 24th, Saric's attorney contacted Belgrade officials to offer his surrender. Saric was transported to Podgorica, where he met with his mother and daughter, and was then moved to a Belgrade county jail.

"We would not have been able to locate or arrest Darko Saric without the help of the police and our colleagues from Montenegro," Serbian Prime Minister Ivica Dacic told reporters. "This is another proof of the importance of regional co-operation. Saric's arrest is an indicator of the...

Continue reading on: