Some 12 caught in assassination of Serbian gang leader

Some 12 caught in assassination of Serbian gang leader

Some 12 caught in assassination of Serbian gang leader

Two murder suspects and 10 others related to the assassination of a Serbian drug gang leader in Istanbul have been caught, Turkish police have announced.

Within the scope of the operation organized on Sept. 16 by the Organized Crime Department of Istanbul Police and Intelligence Department, murder suspects Radoje Zivkovic and Zdravko Perunociv and 10 others linked to the murder were detained.

The armed attack on Jovan Vukotic, the head of the Skaljari drug gang, was carried out by Zivkovic, the head of the criminal organization named “Kavac,” with the support of his connections in Türkiye.

Some 11 fake IDs, six fake passports and two weapons used in the attack were seized in the operation.

Vukotic was killed in an armed attack in Istanbul on Sept. 8 while he was sitting in a car with his wife and daughter.

The gang leader, who was hit by four bullets in his body, died at the scene, while his wife and daughter escaped the attack unharmed.

In 2018, Vukotic was nabbed by the police while leaving a shopping mall in a luxurious car in the southern Turkish province of Antalya’s Lara district, following a tipoff from Serbian authorities.

Vukotic was sought by Serbia, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Greece for a series of crimes, including multiple murders and drug smuggling.

He was also known to have close ties with Luka Bojovic, who had assassinated Serbian Prime Minister Zoran Djindjic in 2003.

He was extradited to Serbia, where the court sentenced him to 15 months in prison for using a forged Macedonian passport.

In February 2020, he was extradited to Montenegro, where he was charged with the attempted murder of another gang’s members. However, in July, the higher court in Podgorica dropped the charges and he was released.

Local media claimed that Vukotic, who was sought by Interpol with a red notice for drug dealing, entered Türkiye with a false identity.