Montenegro Prosecution Indicts ‘Kavac’ Gang’s Alleged Kingpin

The special state prosecutor's offices in Podgorica, Montenegro. Photo: EPA/BORIS PEJOVIC

Police arrested Kascelan, 58, on April 21 suspicion of organising a criminal group that had committed and planned several serious crimes, while another high-ranking gang member, Radoje Zvicer, escaped from the country.

On April 30, the Special State Prosecution said that Stanisic, a member of the rival Skaljar drug gang, was murdered in 2020 at an unknown location and his body melted in acid.

Kascelan is listed in Montenegro police records as one of the leaders of the drug gang based in the town of Kotor. In 2019 he denied involvement in drug trafficking.

The gang has been involved in a six-year war with the rival Skaljari gang, also from Kotor. At least 40 people have been killed in Montenegro, Serbia, Austria and Greece in the conflict.

The Kavac and Skaljari gangs take their names from neighbourhoods of Kotor, a medieval town of some 20,000 inhabitants in Montenegro's Boka Bay.

The conflict started in 2015, after 300 kilos of cocaine vanished from an apartment in Valencia, Spain, in 2014.

In May 2017, the Special State Prosecutor's Office charged Kascelan with organising a criminal group involved in extortion, loan sharking, illegal possession of weapons, sale of drugs, enabling the use of narcotics, giving bribes, serious crimes against public safety and money laundering.

In December 2018, he was arrested in the Czech Republic, under a red Interpol notice. Police said he was wanted for criminal prosecution in Montenegro on suspicion of attempted murder, creation of a criminal organisation and loan sharking.

But the Higher Court in Podgorica released him on bail in 2019, after it accepted bail of more than 500,000...

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