Monday, December 30, 2013

Major drug dealers arrested in Operation Thunder 1

12/28/2013 5:29:00 PM

Serbian Deputy Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic stated that the police brought in 128 people in the operation which began early on Saturday, some time around 4.30 a.m., adding that together with the suspects brought in during the recent action, the number of arrestees totals nearly 500, and announced that drug lords who managed to get away are yet to face fierce persecution.

"Those who think the smuggling network will recover easily should better consider a decent job, because this is not the end of the operation," the deputy prime minister said. "They are yet to face fierce prosecution," Vucic said and underscored that the operations against drug lords would continue so as to protect the society from the negative phenomenon. Vucic underscored that in the operation conducted early on Saturday, the police also arrested individuals who committed several murders and robberies, and that some were remanded in detention for illegal possession of weapons. Operation Thunder 2 aimed at breaking drug smuggling rings in the territory Serbia began early on Saturday and the police have searched 1,165 facilities. In Belgrade, the police arrested major drug lords. 

 A total of 128 people have been prosecuted so far, including members of drug smuggling top circles, Vucic told a news conference. The police are bringing in individuals suspected of illegal drug smuggling and other criminal activities which pose jeopardy to citizens' personal and property safety. Vucic said that there are no systemic connections between the government and criminals and that not a single piece of information about Operation Thunder leaked. "You always have weak links in the police, Prosecutor's Office and courts and some pieces of information always leak, but the action carried out early on Saturday shows that there are no systemic connections between the government and criminals," Vucic said replying to reporters' questions. 

 The operation is being conducted at the request of the Security Service Coordination Bureau. The previous operation was carried out on December 6. Replying to MP questions in the parliament two days ago, Vucic said that 274 people were prosecuted in Operation Thunder and that the police seized 21,238 kilograms of drugs. Arrested drug lords were top of drug dealing pyramid Serbia's Public Prosecutor Zagorka Dolovac stated that in Operation Thunder 2 on Saturday, the police arrested drug lords who were in the very top of the illegal drug smuggling pyramid in Serbia. “Due to legal reasons, we cannot release the names of the arrested individuals but I can assure you that the police targets this time were major drug lords in the very top of the drug smuggling pyramid,” Dolovac said at a news conference in the Serbian government building and noted that the Saturday operation is not the end of the fight against drug smuggling rings. “They may think they are stronger than the government, but this is not true,” Dolovac said and commended police officers and prosecutors involved in Operation Thunder. She noted that the Security Service Coordination Bureau is providing additional assistance to the action.

 In Operation Thunder 2 which began early on Saturday, some time around 4.30 a.m., the police arrested 128 people, Serbian Deputy Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic said and added that drug lords are in for fierce prosecution in the time to come. In police action Operation Thunder 1 aimed against drug smuggling suspects in the territory of entire Serbia which was carried out in early December, the police seized over 21 kilograms of drugs and brought in 124 suspects, of whom 70 were remanded in detention. Vucic said that a few serial killers were also arrested in Operation Thunder 2 and that some individuals were detained for illegal possession of weapons or possession of as many as 20 packages of heroin. The news conference is attended by Vucic, Dolovac, Justice Minister Nikola Selakovic, Prosecutor for Organised Crime Miljko Radisavljevic, Police Director Milorad Veljovic and head of the Criminal Police Administration Rodoljub Milovic. Murder of reporter Slavko Curuvija will be solved The murder of reporter Slavko Curuvija will be solved, Serbian Deputy Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic said and underscored that he will be personally responsible if the case is not solved to the end. 

 “The murder of Slavko Curuvija is for me the most important case. You know that I promised 14 months ago the case would be solved and that final verdicts would be adopted,” Vucic told a news conference in the Serbian government building. Curuvija was murdered in April 1999, and Vucic launched the constitution of the Commission for investigation of reporters' murders in February which is tasked with establishing the responsibilities for the murders of Curuvija, Milan Pantic (in 2001) and Dada Vujasinovic (in 1994), as well as the murder of media employees in Radio Television of Serbia (in the NATO bombing in 1999). Replying to reporters' questions, Vucic noted that the Prosecutor's Office has the evidence in the case of Curuvija's murder up to 30 seconds before the crime, but the identity of the murderer is still unknown. “The prosecutor cannot raise the indictment without evidence. We had all the information up to 30 seconds before the murder, but we do not know who pulled the trigger,” he said. Vucic underscored that he himself will claim the responsibility if the case is not solved to the end.

 “You can have my head on the plate if the case is not closed because some would like it better if I was taken down and not Miljko (Radisavljevic, Prosecutor for Organised Crime). In this case, the opposition will have my resignation and if we solve the murder, Serbian citizens will have an exceptional piece of news that we managed to solve a horrid crime,” Vucic said. “Still, I do not intend to simply withdraw, unless this is the will citizens express in elections,” he said. Photo Tanjug/Z. Zestic, Video

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