The Slovenia Times

Slovenian from Europol's most wanted list arrested in Bosnia

Slovenian citizen Mladen Samardžija (left), one of Europol's most wanted criminals, arrested in Jahorina, Bosnia-Herzegovina. Photo: Interior Ministry of Republika Srpska

One of the two Slovenians on Europe's most wanted suspected or convicted criminals was arrested in Bosnia-Herzegovina on 11 December. Mladen Samardžija, a 33-year-old dual Slovenian and Bosnian citizen, was wanted for drug trafficking.

As part of operation Tokyo, law enforcement authorities of the Serb entity of Bosnia-Herzegovina also seized a kilo of cocaine, cash, four pistols, a laptop, several mobile phones, a small amount of marijuana, 20 pieces of ammunition and several vehicles, the Interior Ministry of Republika Srpska said on its website.

Samardžija, whose name is on the Europol list of the 50 most wanted criminals, had been on the run for a while. The Slovenian police had been looking for him over his involvement in organised crime and drug trafficking. Interpol issued an international warrant against him.

According to Europol, Samardžija is wanted by Slovenia over his involvement in an international criminal group that operated within the Kavač Clan, a criminal organisation from Montenegro with cells all across the Balkans. He allegedly coordinated the group's activities and recruited new members.

The Republika Srpska authorities say Samardžija continued with his illegal activities after fleeing to Bosnia-Herzegovina. Their investigation has shown he was involved in the transport and sale of more than 40 kilos of cocaine and half a kilo of heroin in the period.

The arrest was a part of a special Europol-backed operation in which members of the directorate for organised crime at the Interior Ministry of Republika Srpska and the ministry's special anti-terror unit cooperated with the East Sarajevo police department.

Samardžija was arrested in Pale, Bosnia-Herzegovina, last year after €58,400 in cash and four mobile phones were found in his vehicle. The Bosnian law enforcement authorities knew he was one of the most wanted fugitives in Europe, but were forced to release him because his dual citizenship protected him from being extradited to Slovenia, the Serbian news agency Tanjug reported.

The other wanted criminal from Slovenia on Europol's most wanted list is Marina Kramberger, a 33-year-old serial fraudster who has been on the run since July 2021.


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