Belgrade: Australian, Lebanese cocaine smugglers arrested
The Interior Ministry (MUP) announced on Wednesday that three Australians and one Lebanese citizen had been arrested in Belgrade.Source: B92, Tanjug
Thy are suspected of being members of an organized crime group that is involved in cocaine smuggling.
According to the the MUP, the arrests were carried out in cooperation with the Organized Crime Prosecution, and came after an investigation that lasted nine months, during which the Serbian police worked with Australian authorities.
The four suspects were apprehended in Belgrade's Metropol Hotel.
They have been identified with their initials and year of birth as Australian citizens T.V. (1983), R.A. (1974), and D.K. (1969); and D.G. (1977), a citizen of Lebanon.
The three Australians are linked to the smuggling of 1,280 kilograms of cocaine seized in Sydney, Australia, while the Lebanese man is suspected of forging IDs.
The cocaine confiscated in Sydney in 2017 was found hidden in a container that arrived from China. The market value of the drugs was estimated at 500 million Australian dollars.
The three Australians were arrested in Belgrade during a handover of cash, the police said, and added that they were in possession of 638,020 euros, 11,350 Australian dollars, 4,000 US dollars, 18,300 Czech korunas, 528,000 Vietnamese dong, 9,000 Japanese yen, 2,940 Chinese yuan, 2,500 Thai bahts, 863 Singapore dollars, 112,000 Serbian dinars - and one pistol.
The suspects are currently held in custody, while the MUP said it would "continue to cooperate with Australia's authorities in order to implement further action related to this permanent international investigation."