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Reputed Crime 'Kingpin' Arrested In Kosovo

  • RFE/RL's Balkan Service

Naser Kelmendi in an undated photo

Naser Kelmendi in an undated photo

Reputed Balkan crime boss, Naser Kelmendi, has been arrested in Kosovo's capital, Pristina, on an international arrest warrant.

Police detained Kelmendi late on May 5 along with a second suspect.

Kelmendi has long been suspected of drug and cigarette smuggling, human trafficking, money laundering, and loan-sharking.

KELMENDI PROFILE: 'Kingpin' Designation Points To Official Protection For Reputed Balkan Crime Boss

In June 2012, U.S. President Barack Obama added Kelmendi to a list of suspected "narcotics kingpin" targeted with sanctions mandated by a U.S. law.

Kelmendi has been investigated in Bosnia-Herzegovina in connection with more than a dozen charges but has never been brought to trial.

A Sarajevo court issued an arrest warrant last year for Kelmendi as part of a broader case in which he is suspected of having ordered the murder of a rival.

Kelmendi, a Kosovo-born Albanian, has Bosnian citizenship and owns numerous businesses with family members throughout the Balkans.

With additional reporting by Reuters