Eurojust assists with taking down of drug trafficking ring involved in killing of rivals in Greece

09 April 2024|PRESS RELEASE
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Eurojust has supported the Greek and Serbian authorities in dismantling a drug trafficking network allegedly involved in the murder of four members of a rival gang in Greece. In total, ten suspects were arrested in Serbia, Greece and Spain for the murders, which took place in 2020. Eurojust also supported and funded a joint investigation team (JIT) between Greece and Serbia to dismantle the organised crime group (OCG).

Police line scene

The OCG was based in the Western Balkans and was mainly involved in large-scale drug trafficking. It faced a split within its own organisation in 2014, with a rival group being set up in Greece. This split in the OCG led to a series of murder attempts and killings across Europe. Four members of the Greek-based criminal network were killed in 2020 on Corfu and in Vari on the mainland of Greece.

Investigations by both the Greek and Serbian authorities detected links to the original OCG. In 2023, Eurojust assisted the Greek and Serbian authorities in setting up and funding the JIT into the OCG in the Western Balkans. The Agency also assisted national authorities to prepare, at police level and under the supervision of prosecutors, the concerted actions in recent weeks to dismantle the criminal network.

Europol has been supporting the investigation since April 2021 and brought together the Greek and Serbian investigators to establish a joint strategy and prepare for the final day of action. Europol’s Serious Organised Crime Centre carried out extensive operational analysis to identify the entire organisation responsible for the homicides. Greek investigators were also deployed to Europol’s headquarters to develop the intelligence on their key targets.

In total, 39 suspects have been identified, including the ten detained persons. The authorities involved will now coordinate further judicial action against the OCG members based in the Western Balkans.

The actions on the ground were carried out by and at request of the following authorities:

  • Greece: Department of Extradition and Judicial Assistance of the Public Prosecutor’s Office (PPO) of the Court of Appeals Athens; PPO of First Instance Court Athens; Department of Crimes Against Life and Personal Liberty of Attica Security Directorate
  • Serbia: Public Prosecutor’s Office for Organised Crime; Ministry of Interior, Police Directorate, Service for Combatting Organised Crime; Security Intelligence Agency