Montenegro Senior Police Official Arrested for Alleged Crime Ties

Montenegrin police director assistant Dejan Knezevic in his office in Podgorica. Photo: Government of Montenegro

Knezevic was arrested as part of a large-scale investigation of police links with the notorious Kavac drug gang, which has led to 12 current and ex-police officers' arrests and to national warrants for the arrest of three others.

"After several months of planned and coordinated action by the Special State Prosecutor's Office, the Special Police Department and the European Police Agency EUROPOL, Knezevic was arrested on suspicion of … creating a criminal organization", Special State Prosecution spokesperson Vukas Radonjic told the media.

Knezevic headed the police's anti-drug trafficking units since 2004 and in March 2021 was appointed the police's assistant director in charge of the fight against organized crime.

Knezevic and a senior police officer, Ljubo Milovic, were allegedly tied to the notorious Kavac gang from the town of Kotor, providing official protection for their drug, arms and tobacco smuggling operations.

The gang has been involved for years in a war with the rival Skaljari gang, also from Kotor. At least 50 people have been killed in Montenegro, Serbia, Austria and Greece in the feud.

On Thursday, outgoing Prime Minister Dritan Abazovic said the fight against organized crime groups would be intensified. "We are ready to deal with all types of crime and those people who, whether inside or outside the system, do illegal business," he posted on Twitter.

Last July, Montenegro issued an international warrant for Milovic and one of Kavac gang leaders, Radoje Zvicer, for creating criminal organizations and drug trafficking.

Milovic and Zvicer fled the country after the media last May published a...

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