KOTOR Mafia: “ Skaljari clan“ – „e „Kavac“ crime gang“: Montenegrin Gangs Blamed for Killing in Serbia

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03 Jan 18

Montenegrin Gangs Blamed for Killing in Serbia

The killing of a reported member of a Montenegrin organised crime gang in Belgrade shows that Serbia is allowing its capital to become a ’safe house‘ for warring clans, one analyst says.

Filip Rudic
BIRN

Belgrade

Illustration. Photo: mup.rs

The conflict between Montenegrin criminal gangs will continue to endanger the population of neighbouring Serbia until their suspected members are denied entrance into the country, says a former Serbian deputy minister of police and lawyer, Bozo Prelevic.

„It is interesting that the [Serbian] authorities have allowed Belgrade to become a safe house for these [criminal] clans, and I fear the situation will escalate,“ Prelevic told BIRN on Wednesday.

Serbian authorities have said the Montenegrin citizen who was shot dead in his car in Belgrade on January 1 was „previously known to Serbian and Montenegrin police“.

„Everything suggests that this is a clash between rival gangs,“ Serbia’s director of police, Vladimir Rebic, said on Tuesday. No arrests have yet been made.

According to both Montenegrin and Serbian media, the victim was a member of the „Kavac“ crime gang from the coastal resort town of Kotor.

The group has reportedly been fighting to control the drug trade with the rival Skaljari clan from the same town.

Several Montenegrin towns have been hit by a series of murders and bomb blasts in this ongoing conflict – but police have caught few perpetrators so far.

The situation is worst in Kotor, where 30 people have been reported killed since late 2013, apparently in clashes between the Skaljari and Kavac clans, named after neighbourhoods in Kotor.

However, their conflict has also spilled over into Serbia, where the Skaljari clan was reportedly behind two murders in Belgrade.

Prelevic says that it is not uncommon for members of these gangs to hold Serbian citizenship, which suggests they have received some support from persons working within Serbian state institutions.

He said that Serbia’s Security and Information Agency conducts security checks of applicants, but gang members from Montenegro seem able to obtain Serbian citizenship.

“Our problem is not with the Skaljari and Kavac clans but with our people giving them logistical [support], and that will spill over into the streets of Belgrade,” Prelevic warned.

Romania Seeks Ex-Mayor’s Extradition From Madagascar : Radu Mazare

Ex-Bürgermeister von Constanza in Rumänien soll von Madagaskar ausgeliefert werden.

03 Jan 18

Romania Seeks Ex-Mayor’s Extradition From Madagascar

Romania on Wednesday said it had begun extradition procedures for Radu Mazare, the former mayor of Constanta, after he skipped meetings with his parole officer and went to Madagascar.

Ana Maria Luca
BIRN

Bucharest

Radu Mazare. Photo: Dan Avraham/Wikimedia commons.

Romanian prosecutors are set to start the extradition procedure for a former mayor sentenced for graft who skipped his police check-in on December 30 and left instead for Madagascar.

Radu Mazare, former mayor of the Black Sea port of Constanta, was given a suspended sentence in the middle of last year of four years for selling dozens of kilometers of public beaches to various business people. It was deemed Romania’s longest corruption trial, after it lasted nine years.

According to the prosecutors, the damages amounted to about 114 million euros. Another 36 people, businessmen and former public officials, were indicted in the same case.

Mazare appealed the sentence, and was placed under court supervision during the appeal; once a week, he was obliged to check in with his parole officer.

However, on December 30, he missed the appointment. When the police called, he revealed that he was in Madagascar, where he was planning to apply for political asylum.

Anti-graft prosecutors filed a request for Mazare’s arrest.

Mazare’s lawyer, Tiberiu Barbacioru, on Sunday said that Mazare’s presence was not necessary for the appeal, so he believes the court will reject the prosecutors’ request.

“Mazare has been investigated, was present at hearings, submitted all the evidence, and most of the evidence was admitted. His presence in person cannot be of any help to expediting the trial,” the lawyer said.

Mazare  said in an open letter sent to Romanian journalist Victor Ciutacu, a friend, that he feels he is a victim of political interests.

“The way the Romanian state … is abusively investigating me proves that I am still a political target for the ‚parallel state,’” Mazare said in the email.

Mazare is one of Romania’s richest politicians with a wealth estimated to be worth 8 billion euros. He owns a surfing resort in Madagascar, where he made a deal with a local tribe that granted him the land for 99 years for 1 euro per square metre, according to his public statement of wealth.

A former journalist who founded several regional publications, Mazare was first elected Mayor of Constanta in 2000 as an independent, but joined the Social Democratic Party, PSD, in 2003 and was re-elected with a comfortable majority in 2004, 2008 and 2012.

He resigned in 2015 following accusations of corruption, saying he was under unbearable stress because of “politically motivated investigations”.

He was nicknamed a “local baron”, a nickname given by the media to several rich PSD members who controlled the public administration in different regions of Romania.

His assets were frozen in 2014 during a corruption investigation. In 2015, he was also indicted for under-valuing the sale price of the Constanta Casino, designated a historical monument.

Mazare is also known for his strange outfits and gaffes. In 2009, he featured on front pages after showing up at a fashion show wearing a Nazi Wehrmacht uniform together with his son, who was also in Nazi uniform.

He explained that he „always liked this uniform and admired the rigorous organization of the German army“.

Two days later, he issued an apology to Jewish organisations, declaring that in wearing the uniform he had only wanted to pay homage to Claus von Stauffenberg, a leading member of the failed plot to kill Adolf Hitler during World War II.

The former mayor also lost a libel lawsuit against a survivor of the 1989 revolution who he called a beggar and he caused further uproar when he admitted his bodyguards beat up a Tunisian football player in August 2013.