- Bosnia and Herzegovina
- All Balkan Countries
After police arrested 25 in a crime sweep codenamed 'Lutka', Bosnia's State Prosecutor is seeking international arrest warrants for three others, possibly including the alleged drugs gangster Naser Kelmendi.
Bosnia's State Prosecutor on Monday asked the State Court to issue an international arrest warrant for three persons suspected of links to organized crime as part of the police dragnet codenamed "Lutka", ["Doll"], conducted on September 12.
The Prosecutor did not release any names, saying it would affect the investigation. However, local media reported that among the three is Naser Kelmendi, the alleged boss of a Balkan drugs ring.
“We sent a proposal to the Court of BiH to order custody for some of the arrested and to issue international warrants related to 'Lutka,'” the prosecutor's spokesman, Boris Grubesic, told Balkan Insight on Monday.
The State Court must now confirm the request before deciding whether to issue the arrest warrants.
Meanwhile the Prosecution will continue investigating the case, which they last week qualified as the largest action of its kind since the 1995 Dayton peace deal, ending the 1992-5 war i the country.
The Lutka operation was conducted in several towns across Bosnia, swooping on dozens of persons allegedly involved in organized Balkan crime rings.
The State Investigative and Protection Agency, SIPA, and other police agencies were investigating at least six unsolved murders and attempted murders, major bank robberies and other grave criminal acts.
Among the raided sites was the Hotel Casa Grande near Sarajevo owned by Naser Kelmendi who was put on a US blacklist as an alleged drug-trafficker this year.
He is suspected of leading one of the biggest crime rings in the Balkans and of trafficking drugs to Europe through the Balkans.
A 2008 report by SIPA described Kelmendi as the head of one of the best organized criminal organizations in the region, allegedly smuggling drugs and cigarettes, trafficking in people and laundering money.
Although Kelmendi was indicted numerous times in Bosnia, he has never been prosecuted. Members of the Kelmendi family have been charged with unauthorized possession of weapons, murder and attempted murder.
As Montenegro's National Security Agency, the ANB, asks Bosnian police to back up claims that its employees had ties to a suspected drug dealer, Montenegrin minister says the main responsibility for investigating Naser Kelmendi lies with Bosnia.
In two high-profile war crimes trials currently ongoing in Pristina, a series of witnesses have retracted previous statements alleging abuse at Kosovo Liberation Army detention centres.