Suspected drug boss placed in 60-day detention

BELGRADE -- Darko Šarić, who was arrested and transferred to Belgrade this morning, has been remanded in custody for 60 days by the Special Court for Organized Crime.

Darko Šarić at the Belgrade airport on Tuesday morning (B92)
Darko Šarić at the Belgrade airport on Tuesday morning (B92)

Šarić was a fugitive suspected of organizing a cocaine smuggling ring, and was according to reports arrested on Tuesday morning in an operation led by justice ministers of Serbia and Montenegro.

Officials of the two countries have said that Šarić was hiding in several Latin American countries, where he was located, and that he was "officially arrested in Montenegro after he was caught in Latin America."

B92 has learned that the Serbian BIA agency and its chief played a key role in the arrest.

Justice Minister Nikola Selaković and Special Prosecutor for Organized Crime Miljko Radisavljević addressed a news conference on Tuesday in Belgrade, to say that Šarić had surrendered unconditionally, and that details concerning the location and manner of his arrest would not be revealed "because 18 of his associates are still on the run."

Also on Tuesday, Montenegro's ministers of justice and police held a news conference in Podgorica and said that Šarić was in their country briefly this morning, where he was allowed to see members of his family at the Podgorica airport.

The fugitive was on trial in Belgrade in absentia, and a Special Court spokeswoman confirmed earlier today that the trial of Šarić and his crime group would resume on March 24.

Šarić's defense lawyer Radoslav Bačević told the Beta news agency that his client made a brief statement to the police in Belgrade this morning. He was then transferred to the Special Court where he would, in the presence of his lawyer, make a statement concerning his whereabouts until the moment of his arrest.

B92 has exclusively learned that the authorities determined Šarić had undergone several plastic surgeries, but that he was nevertheless positively identified by the police.