Serbian Organized Crime,
also known as the Serbian Mafia and Naša
Stvar (Cosa Nostra) are general terms used to
describe various criminal organizations based in Serbia or composed
of ethnic-Serbs. Serbian criminals are
active in the European Union (EU)
countries and sometimes in United States of America.
The Serbian mafia is primarily involved in
, the arms trafficking
, drug trafficking
, protection racket
, illegal gambling
, jewelry and gems theft,
, and contract killing
Involvement in Serbia
in Serbia is composed of 3 major groups, the Voždovac, Surčin and Zemun
These three clanshave control over wide networks of
During the period that started with the Yugoslav wars
and ended with the assassination
of Prime Minister Zoran
in March 2003, connections between the mafia and the
government were obvious and corruption was rampant in most branches
of the government, from border patrols to law-enforcement agencies.
was ousted in the October 2000 Bulldozer Revolution
, organized crime
in Serbia became less obvious, but remained in the background
during the political transition. However, a bloody feud soon
emerged amongst the different clans. The feud grew into an open war
in which many of the mafia bosses were assassinated. In 2003,
shortly after Đinđić's assassination, the government set in motion
a major anti-mafia operation - "Operation Sablja
), which led to many arrests, eliminations and exile
of mafia members.
In January, 2009, Serbian Interior Minister Ivica Dacic
estimated some 30 to 40 serious
organized crime groups operating in Serbia. The figures does not
include smaller size criminal groups but more organized, involved
in drug trafficking and arms trafficking, human trafficking, murder
and larger robberies.
Involvement in Belgrade
The reign of Slobodan Milosevic represented the height of power of
Serbian Organized Crime, when mafiosos and government officials
were intertwined. The role of these individuals was reported in the
documentary film "Vidimo se
"See you in the obituaries".
Some of the key Organized Crime players during this period
Murders committed by the Serbian mafia:
Knežević "Knele", the youngest "star" of the Serbian mafia at
the beginning of the 1990s, he was close to the authorities.
Knežević was murdered on October 28, 1992 in his room at the
"Hyatt" hotel in Belgrade.
- Georg Stanković "Žorž", one
of the infamous mob bosses of the older generation. He was murdered
on October 1, 1993 by a sole hitman.
- Mihajlo Divac,
leader of the Novi
Beograd gang at time, he had previously survived a number
of murder attempts. Divac was gunned down in the hall of the
Hotel "Putnik", in Belgrade in 1995.
- Božidar Stanković
"Batica", Georg Stanković's son, he was murdered on June 23, 1996
by a sole hitman.
- Zoran Dimitrov
"Žuća", one of the Voždovac gang
members, who had priorly survived a number of assassination
attempts, was killed on October 6, 1996 by a sole
Ćaldović "Ćenta", the infamous Belgrade mafioso, was
murdered on February 14, 1997 in his car in Belgrade by two
- Radovan Stojičić
"Badža", a police chief killed on 10 April 1997 in the pizza
parlour "Mama Mia" in Belgrade by a sole hitman.
- Zoran Todorović "Kundak"
was killed on 24 October 1997.
- Jusuf Bulić "Jusa", one of
Arkan's closest lieutenants, was killed in 1998.
- Darko Ašanin was Belgrade
gangster involved with drugs and killings. His uncle was Pavle Bulatović, the late Defense
Minister. Murdered on June 30, 1998, in his cafe "Koloseum"
inDedinje by a sole hitman.
- Zoran Šijan, the boss of the
"Surčin" gang, killed on 27 November 1999.
Ražnatović "Arkan", assassinated January 15, 2000.
Trlajić "Bata Trlaja", a Belgrade mob boss and a member of the
Beograd gang. He was famous for referring to Serbia
and Belgrade in the nineties as "a pond too small for so many
crocodiles". He was murdered on February 26, 2000 by
Mile Luković of the Zemun
- Zoran Davidović "Ćanda" was
murdered while returning from the funeral of Branislav Lainović on
March 23, 2000 by the Zemun clan.
- Zoran Uskoković "Skole", a
Belgrade businessman, was murdered on April 27, 2000 by the members
of the Zemun clan.
- The deputy chief of the State Security Service in Belgrade
(retired) Momir Gavrilović,
was killed by Milorad Ulemek "Legija"
and the Zemun clan in an attempt to damage Zoran Đinđić's
administration by convincing the public that he was killed for
delivering "evidence" of government ties with the criminals.
Sretko Kalinić's, the number one
hitman of the Zemun clan, DNA was found on the murder spot.
to carry out the assassination.
- Smail Taric,was beheaded because of
his connections with the police by two members of the Beran Clan,
Velibor Brkic and Milos Rasic.
October 27, 1978 Veljko
Krivokapić secretly met with Ljubomir Magaš, a member of the
gang he had just left, at the Zur Hauptpost coffee house in
Magaš and another Yugoslav, Rade Caldović
, grabbed Krivokapić and
fractured his skull with a glass bottle.
Involvement with Corsican
Zemun clan member Nenad Milenkovic Milenko was arrested in 2003 at
the Varna resort, following the international warrant by the
Serbian police after Operation
. He was suspected of orchestrating at least 3 murders in
Bulgaria and some 20 in Serbia. His then 6 month son was wounded in
a shootout in Sofia in July, 2007.
The murder of Croatian publisher and founder of weekly "Nacional"
in 2008 was ordered by
who hired Zeljko
Milovanovic, a former Red Berets
who bombed the car of the publisher with the help of Milenko
Kuzmanovic. All three were arrested by the Serbian police.
The Serbian-Danish actor Slavko
, who played Radovan in the movie Pusher
, was a good friend of Arkan and was arrested,
along with his brother, for possession of illegal arms. The Serbian
Brotherhood or in Serbian "Srpsko Bratstvo" is believed to be the
top crime organisation in Copenhagen.
One of the most well known Serbian criminal groups operating in
France is the Pink Panthers
, a group
that focuses on jewelry and gems theft. In October 2008,
police officials in Monaco arrested two
members of the gang, a Serb and a Bosnian Serb.
The gang is
suspected of jewelry and gems theft at Harry Winston
for an estimated value of up to
80 million Euros or 105 million US dollars.
Known in German as the German
Serbische Mafia, Jugoslawische Mafia
- Ljubomir Magaš "Ljuba
Zemunac" ("Ljuba from Zemun"), "The Godfather", is considered as
the ultimate boss of the Serbian mafia at the time. He was killed by two
shots to the heart from close range in front of the courthouse in
Frankfurt, Germany in 1986 by Goran
- Goran Vuković "Majmun"
("Monkey"), who is most famous for killing Ljubomir Magaš, survived
five murder attempts following the killing of Ljubomir Magaš before
he was assassinated in downtown Belgrade in broad daylight in 1994.
He was a member of the Vozdovac clan.
Andrija Draskovic, an heir to Arkan's Serbian mafia, was arrested
in Frankfurt after four years on the run from the Italian
Anti-Organized Crime Unit.
- Stanislava Poletan, married to Ranko Poletan, the former
commander of the Serbian
Volunteer Guard (Arkan's tigers), was
suspected of having orchestrated the transport of 486 kilos of
cocaine seized at Blace. She is now likely hiding in Serbia.
Jankovski: Head of the Macedonian arm of the Serbian
- Zoran Boyadjiski, involved in drug trafficking in Germany,
Bulgaria under the Zemun clan.
been a number of unsolved murder cases in Amsterdam that have been linked to the activities of Serbian
Organized Crime gangs. In recent years the Serbian mafia has been
growing strong in the Netherlands.
- Sreten Jocić ("Joca
Amsterdam"), is a hitman and a drug dealer. He is considered to be
the leader for the Serbian mafia in Amsterdam.
Non-Norwegian gangs and Organized Crime groups came to dominate
Norway's drug trade in the 1980s. During the 1990s Norway saw a
large influx of Yugoslavs seeking refugee status due to the
conflict in the Balkan
Yugoslav groups are some of the most dominant and notorious
criminal organisations in Norway.
Known in Swedish
Jugoslaviska maffian, Serbiska maffian,
The Serbian mafia in Sweden was said to be the top criminal
organisation, but its influence has declined since the deaths of
several leading figures.
A war was fought over the control of the trade of narcotics
between Serbian Organized Crime leaders which resulted in Jokso and
Ratko Djokic's deaths.
Individuals associated to Serbian Organized Crime in Sweden:
- Ratko Đokić "The Godfather", arms dealer and cigarette
smuggler, he was murdered May 5, 2003 by Serbian hitmen hired by
Rade Kotur, another notorious Serbian criminal.
- Dragan "Jokso" Joksović, notorious gambler
and assumed cigarette smuggler, was murdered February 4, 1998 in
Solvalla, Stockholm by a Finnish hitman hired by "Kova". He was
a close friend of Arkan and is said to have
helped Arkan on many occasions. Arkan and many other known mafia
figures attended his funeral. As revenge, "Kova" was later killed
in front of 60 guests at the order of Arkan.
- Milan Ševo, declared to be the latest "Head of Serbian mafia"
in Sweden has survived many murder attempts and even escaped from a
prison. He is married to Ratko Djokic's daughter. It is believed
that he has connections with Swedish Hells Angels MC.
One of the chapters in the "Svensk
" (Swedish Mafia) -book follows the history of the
Serbian mafia from the 60's and modern time.
In June 2, 2009, six Serbs were convicted together with several
Israelis for their role in a major smuggling of 12.5 ton (£36m)
, orchestrated by the Israeli mafia
. The marijuana was seized on a
tugboat under an Israeli flag.
There has been known involvement of Albanians, Croats, Serbs and
Bosnian crime groups in the United States. One of the most
notorious Serb leaders was Bosko
, leader of the Irish-American organized crime group
", from 1988-1992.
In popular culture
The Serbian Mafia has appeared in a number of films and video
games. Serbian gangsters in movies are often depicted as tall,
muscular, wearing large gold chains and leather jackets. They have
hot tempers and are depicted as cold blooded murderers. They have
Glenny, M. (2008). McMafia: A Journey Through the Global