Sunday, December 5

From robbing luxury jewelers to smuggling a Balkan mafia

A date between a group of cocaine traffickers settled in the Canary Islands and some strangers was the starting point of an operation in which agents specialized in organized crime Police and Civil Guard detained three members of the dangerous clan Skaljari, a drug trafficking mafia Originally from Montenegro, known for exerting enormous violence and with dozens of deaths in her history, two of them in Spain. Although the arrests were made in February, they have not been made known until now because summary secrecy weighed on the case.

When the agents began to work on the objectives, and after passing all the data obtained on them through the bases

police officers, got a final surprise: one of those investigated, just over 40 years old, not only belonged to that mafia, but also had belonged to the Pink Panther, the mythical band of paramilitaries that emerged after the war of the Balkans that raided the best jewelers of 35 countries on all continents, including Spain. It was about Predag ​​Vujosevic, involved in some of the band’s boldest hits. He joined the mafia group because he too is from Montenegro … And he had to live on something.

The presence of the Skaljari clan in Spain was not news to the Security Forces. In fact, a cocaine rollover (theft) in the port of Valencia in 2014 had caused a bloody war between clans of the Balkans that still continues today and that has already left fifty murders in reckoning. Likewise, according to the police sources consulted by ABC, the mafia organization had been detected in the Costa del Sol, other points of Levante Y Catalonia, so it was not a novelty that its members acted from Spain. It was, however, that they had chosen the Canary Islands as their base of operations to traffic cocaine.

The investigation revealed that the mafia network had established a channel for the introduction of cocaine in the islands and that it stored the drug in rented houses in luxury residential areas. The members of the group went completely unnoticed, and from these houses they proceeded to distribute the narcotic substances to local organizations.

Investigators detected in November how members of the organization delivered 250,000 and 155,000 euros in cash, respectively, on two different days, to third parties whose mission was to remove that money from the archipelago and introduce it into the legal circuit.

The follow-ups and surveillance were very complicated. The targets of the Police were very brave guys, with experience, who maintained strict security measures so as not to be discovered. For example, when they were driving they would go around a roundabout several times to check that they were not being followed, and they would counter-surveillance for the same reason.

“They were neurotic in everything that had to do with their safety, not only because they wanted to escape the control of the Police and the Civil Guard, but because they are aware that they could be subject to a reckoning, explain the sources consulted by ABC .

In addition, they did not attract attention for wearing gold chains or showing off, although the follow-ups showed that they handled large amounts of money. They did go to good restaurants and reside in luxury homes, but they did not go further, since their success was to go unnoticed. Of course, they used false documentation, because they needed to make themselves ‘invisible’ to work undisturbed. «It is, without a doubt, authentic organized crime professionals», Explain the consulted sources.

After much police work on the ground, it was possible to detect an alleged transport of narcotic substances that started from a point in the south of Tenerife. Once the two vehicles that participated in it had been identified, it was the moment chosen by those responsible for the investigations to intervene.

The operation was designed to the millimeter, because the risks had to be minimized both for the agents and for all those people who were in the area, oblivious to what was going to happen. Thats why he number of police and civil guards who participated in the device was high. The element of surprise was key so that the two members of the Montenegrin clan arrested at that time and a Spaniard who accompanied them could not react. None of the three were armed, but when the arrests occurred the officials who intervened did not know.

The vehicle searches were intervened 70 kilos of cocaine. But the investigators’ work was not done yet. The police investigations took the agents to a building located in Costa Adeje, where a third member of the organization was arrested, who at that time was guarding the rest of the drug, up to the 408 kilos that were confiscated in the operation. It was precisely the former member of the Pink Panther who was guarding the shipment. In total, the detainees were also found 413.000 euros.

In the operation, a vehicle was seized; a yacht-type boat, which is the one that investigators believe the mafia clan used to bring drugs to the Canary Islands; twelve encrypted telephones so that their conversations could not be intercepted; electronic security devices; banknote counting machines and vacuum packing machines, as well as various tools and documentation.

The three arrested gangsters, in the opinion of the investigators, occupy a medium-high level in the organization, as evidenced by the fact that they were trusted to guard a shipment of cocaine valued at 12 million euros and that they had a network of homes to store it.

The sources consulted by ABC explain that the criminal groups that emerged after the Balkan war have strong links with the drug cartels. In fact, these organizations are the ones that bring the most cocaine to Europe. In Spain there is a group of analysts from the Udyco Central of the Police who are dedicated only to these mafias.

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