Raids Across Western Balkans, Europe, Crack ‘Violent’ Drug-Trafficking Gang

A series of raids carried out simultaneously across Croatia, Slovenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Netherlands, Italy, Belgium and Germany on May 24 resulted with the arrest of "37 members of a highly violent criminal cell from the Western Balkans," Europe's law enforcement agency, Europol, stated on Friday. 

Among those arrested is a ring-leader, national of Bosnia and Herzegovina, who was running a cell "mainly involved in the large-scale trafficking of drugs and firearms across Europe," Europol added. 

According to Bosnian media reports, the group was led by Dino Muzaferovic, known as Cezar, who was re-arrested in the prison cell in Italy where he is serving a four-year sentence. 

"The investigators were able to uncover how this individual continued to orchestrate his gang's criminal activities from his prison cell. From there, he is believed to have regularly given orders and instructions to his subordinates on matters related to the trafficking of drugs and firearms," Europol added. 

During the raids, police seized over 15 kilos of cocaine, 11 kilos of heroin, 3 kilos of amphetamine, 7 kilos of marijuana and 10 kilos of hashish, 18 firearms, more than 2,500 pieces of ammunition, cash, and explosives with remote detonators. Investigators said the group was responsible for smuggling more than 100 kilos of cocaine. 

"This international sweep follows a complex investigation led by the Croatian General Police Directorate in the framework of the Operational Taskforce 'Balkan Cartel'," Europol stated, adding that "the intelligence development carried out by Europol after the recent takedown of three encrypted communication tools used by criminals - Encrochat, Sky ECC and ANOM -  revealed the prevalence of Balkan criminals in the...

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