“Šarić gang squeezed Italian mafia out”

BELGRADE, ROME -- After arrest of Darko Šarić’s partners, Serbian and Italian media report that his gang has even managed to push the Italian mafia out of the drug business.

Belgrade-based daily Blic writes that the fugitive's gang managed to push the most powerful Calabrian criminal organization Ndrangheta out of the cocaine business.

According to the daily, information based on which operation “Balkan Warrior” continued in Italy and more than 80 persons were arrested proves this.

The arrests were ordered by the Italian Anti-Mafia Directorate.

The arrest warrants, which were submitted to the Montenegrin police, also contain names of Darko Šarić and Goran Soković but they are still at large. Suspects were simultaneously arrested in Serbia, Montenegro and Slovenia.

“The Ndrangheta used to supply cocaine for the entire market until the group controlled by Šarić emerged. In just two years, in 2008 and 2009, Šarić managed to put the Ndrangheta out of business and take over the Italian market thanks to better quality and lower prices,” a well-informed source told the daily.

Special Prosecutor for Organized Crime Miljko Radisavljević, who led yesterday’s operation together with his Italian counterparts in Milan, told the daily that he expected that Šarić would be arrested soon.

“I’m convinced that the arrest warrant issued by the Italian (Anti-Mafia) Directorate will help arrest Šarić soon and extradite him to Serbia since he has our citizenship,” he was quoted as saying.

The operation was planned and conducted in cooperation with the Italian Anti-Mafia Directorate and the Serbian Special Prosecution for Organized Crime based on the information of the Security-Information Agency (BIA) which initiated the Balkan Warrior operation.

The Italian media report that members of two criminal networks were arrested in the operation which was prepared for two years. The first group is consisted of local criminals from Milan and other northern Italian towns, while the second group is consisted of Serbian, Montenegrin and Slovenian citizens who took orders from their bosses from Serbia and Slovenia who also had operatives in other European countries and South America.