Suspected criminal who met with Dačić pens letter

BELGRADE -- Rodoljub Radulović, accused of being a member of the Šarić crime gang, has pointed the finger at his dead former "business partner".

Rodoljub Radulović, aka Miša Banana, has asserted his innocence (file)
Rodoljub Radulović, aka Miša Banana, has asserted his innocence (file)

Radulović - known also as "Miša Banana" - has been the focus of media attention in Serbia ever since it emerged that he on several occasions met with then interior minister, now prime minister, Ivica Dačić.

Dačić admitted to meeting with Radulović in 2008 and 2009, but maintained that he was not aware of his criminal background.

Now, in a letter allegedly "sent to his Belgrade friends", Radulović denies that he had any ties with the runaway suspected drug lord Darko Šarić, and accuses Dragan Dudić aka Fric of "setting him up with the affair".

Both Radulović and Dudić are natives of Kotor in Montenegro, where the latter was shot and killed in 2010.

The Belgrade newspaper Večernje Novosti reported about the existence of the letter on Tuesday, and said it will "soon, via Radulović's lawyers, be sent to seven high-ranking addresses".

The daily refers to statements made by "people from Radulović's circles" to interpret the letter as being aimed at "creating an atmosphere and preparing the public for his surrender, but also that of Darko Šarić".

"Radulović realized that he can exonerate himself of accusations of being a member of the mafia and of plotting to bring down the Serbian government only if he surrenders and offers firm evidence. Darko Šarić also intends to turn himself in, but only under the condition that he is granted the status of protected witness. He wants to save his life and friends at any cost and is considering surrendering to Americans if he does not receive protection in Serbia," the daily quoted an unnamed source.

However, notes the article, if Šarić was a cartel boss - "he can never become a protected witness".

Radulović, a Montenegrin who arrived in Belgrade in 1975, was the owner of two dozen companies on three continents when he was in 2011 accused of conspiring with Šarić to use one of his ships to smuggle 1.8 tons of cocaine from South America to Europe.

Radulović has since been "unavailable to the Serbian judiciary", and now, in the letter, blames his former business partner Dudić.

He accuses Dudić of being the one who was "doing business with the Šarić Clan", and says his late partner "accused him of everything he did with cocaine smugglers".

"Fric (Dudić) told a high official of the Serbian police in Zlatibor all about his dealings with Darko Šarić, about the five ships commissioned in China, about transporting the cocaine in two ships with soy cargo. And he ascribed to me everything that he was doing. In that way it turned out that I was doing business with the Šarić Clan, rather than Dragan Dudić Fric. It was based on that story told by Fric that an investigation was launched and an indictment issued against me," the letter reportedly says.

Dudić was shot and killed in Kotor shortly after the alleged meeting and testimony in Zlatibor, according to Večernje Novosti.