ANB chief says drug lord is not hiding in Montenegro

PODGORICA -- The director of Montenegro's Agency for National Security (ANB) has said that a fugitive suspected head of a drug gang was not hiding in his country.

Darko Šarić (file)
Darko Šarić (file)

Boro Vučinić addressed reporters on Wednesday in Podgorica to say that the agency had no information indicating that Darko Šarić was in Montenegro.

Šarić - a Montenegrin who was given a Serbian passport in the mid-2000s - has been on the run for three years.

He is wanted by the Serbian authorities on charges that he organized a massive cocaine smuggling operation out of South America.

Leader of the Montenegrin opposition Movement for Changes Nebojša Medojević called on the ANB earlier in the day to make a statement on whether Šarić was hiding in Montenegro.

"I will ask the ANB director for full documentation regarding the information of the secret service about whether Šarić is perhaps currently in Montenegro," said Medojević, who is also an MP and member of the Parliamentary Committee on Defense and Security.

In an interview for Podgorica's Dan newspaper, Medojević noted that the agency did not take part in international Operation Balkan Warrior which prevented the smuggling of nearly three tons of cocaine and forced Šarić to go into hiding in 2009.

The fact that the ANB did not participate, according to Medojević, "is best indicator of the rating that the Montenegrin secret service has among the international intelligence community".

"Vučinić must answer why the region's leading politicians are pointing out that Montenegro has become a safe house for criminals under the regime of Milo Đukanović, where key mafia bosses have been hiding," he said.