By Oisin Sweeney • 11 February 2021 • 9:03
A powerful Belgrade crime lord is the suspected ringleader of the murder plot - Image Source: Aleksander Vucic
POLICE in Belgrade say they successfully thwarted an attempt by the powerful local mafia to assassinate the Serbian President, Aleksander Vucic.
In a statement, Serbia’s chief of police claimed that officers prevented the attempted assassination of President Aleksander Vucic during an official event in late January.
The politician was attending a ceremony to unveil a statue of Serbia’s founder, Stefan Nemanja, in the capital Belgrade. Having received intelligence of an assassination conspiracy, the President was accompanied by 850 security personnel which police say prevented the murder plot.
The assassination conspiracy was allegedly hatched by jailed mafia leader Velko Belivuk, whose Belgrade-based mob was heavily targetted by a high-profile anti-mob operation earlier this month. Aleksander Vucic was elected to lead the southeast European country in 2017 on a hardline anti-crime platform, previously telling supporters that Serbia “cannot become a possession of criminals, and cannot be governed by criminal networks”.
The Serbian mafia is notorious across the Balkans and the rest of Europe for its high-level role in drug trafficking, violent robberies, kidnappings, and extortion. In 2003, the country’s then Prime Minister Zoran Dindic lost his life to an assassin’s bullet after attempting a crackdown on powerful crime groups.
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Oisin is an Irish writer based in Seville, the sunny capital of Andalucia. After starting his working life as a bookseller, he moved into journalism and cut his teeth as a reporter at one of Ireland's biggest news websites. Since joining Euro Weekly News in November, he has enjoyed covering the latest stories from Seville, Spain and further afield - with special interests in crime, cybersecurity, and European politics. Anyone who can pronounce his name first try gets a free cerveza...
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