Balkans: September 12, 2003


Balkan (mostly ex-Yugoslav) gangs play a major role in pan-European crime rackets. One big time culprit is the Zemun gang, which has been fingered as part of the gangster coalition which assassinated Serb Prime Minister Zoran Djindjic last March. Drugs, kidnapping, theft, and smuggling are all criminal enterprises with deep Balkan connections, including cigarette smuggling throughout Europe. And remember Arkan (Zeljko Raznatovic), head of the notorious Tiger militia death squad in Bosnia? It appears he was connected with several bank robberies in Sweden during the 1970s. In 1997 he used his old criminal connections to get out of the death squad business and move into smuggling cigarettes.




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