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One of Europe's biggest cocaine barons is arrested again

Darko Saric, dubbed the 'cocaine king' was released from prison last year after spending three years of a 15-year sentence behind bars

Darko Saric (OLIVER BUNIC/AFP via Getty Images)

Clodagh Meaney

One of Europe’s biggest cocaine barons, Darko Saric, has been arrested once again.

The Serbian drug trafficker was arrested on Thursday morning at his wife’s home in Belgrade’s upmarket suburb of Dedinje.

It comes as part of an international operation co-ordinated by Europol and Eurojust.

Police also arrested four other members of an alleged organised crime gang that operate in Serbia, Europe and South America.

They are charged with association for the purpose of committing criminal acts, aggravated murder, and the possession, carrying and trafficking of weapons and explosives.

According to Serbian media, Saric’s lawyer, Dejan Lazarevic was also arrested and his office searched.

Lazarevic is known for representing major gangland figures.

It was also reported that twelve police officers were also arrested as part of the operation.

It has been alleged that Saric had access to five phones including one that has an encrypted messaging application popular with gangs and drug smugglers.

Saric, who is alleged to be the biggest drug baron in the Balkans, was sentenced to 15 years in prison in 2018 for smuggling from South America to Europe. But it was overturned in June 2021 and the case sent back to the court of appeals.

In 2021 he was released from prison and placed under house arrest which came to an end this week when he was taken back into police custody.

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