news 06 Feb 13

Serbian Prosecutor Probes Official Ties to Drug Gang

The Serbian Prosecutor's Office for Organized Crime is seeking police information about communications between top state officials and Darko Saric's crime ring.

Bojana Barlovac
BIRN
Belgrade

Miljko Radisavljevic, Prosecutor for Organized Crime, has asked the police to reveal all information they have on communications between state officials and Rodoljub Radulovic, a member of suspected drug lord Darko Saric's gang.

"We have asked police to take all necessary measures to determine whether information that represents official secrets has been disclosed,” Miljkovic said on Wednesday.

The information is connected to the police's Criminal Investigations report, published on February 1, which contains information about ties in 2008 and 2009 between Prime Minister Ivica Dacic, who was then Interior Minister, and Radulovic.

On Sunday, Dacic confirmed he had met Radulovic several times, adding that he had no confirmation at the time that Radulovic was a suspected criminal.

Saric, of Montenegrin origin but holding Serbian citizenship, is the alleged leader of an organised criminal group accused of smuggling cocaine from Latin America to Europe.

Prosecutors filed charges against Saric and his associates in April 2010 and issued a warrant for his arrest. Both Saric and Radulovic are at large.

Several officials at the time were aware of Dacic's contacts with members of Saric's clan.

They include Boris Tadic, former Serbian President, Sasa Vukadinovic, former head of the security service, Milorad Veljovic, former police chief, Rodoljub Milovic, head of the Criminal Investigations Police Administration, Svetislav Djurovic, chief of the police's Service for Combating Organised Crime, SBPOK, and Miodrag Rakic, head of the National Security Council.

Tadic, now honorary president of the opposition Democrats, on Tuesday said that the reports of contacts between Dacic and Saric's clan had revealed no wrongdoing.

"If  there had been [wrongdoing], the criminal offence would have been prosecuted," Tadic told the news agency, Fonet.

The daily newspaper Blic reported that Radulovic had a network of informers at the Interior Ministry which, apart from Dacic and Radulovic, included Dacic’s current National Security adviser, Ivica Toncev.

Meanwhile, according to a preliminary police financial investigation, Saric has been indirectly financing at least one political party in Serbia with laundered money, the daily Danas reported on Wednesday.

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