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Suspected Balkan Drug Lord Arrested

Drug smuggling suspect Darko Saric (file photo)
BELGRADE -- Serbian authorities say a suspected international drug smuggler has been arrested in a joint operation by Serbian and Montenegrin police.

Darko Saric, 43, was arrested in Montenegro and handed over to Serbia.

Saric is accused of leading a major Balkans organized crime gang for years.

His name made international headlines in 2009 when more than two tons of cocaine were seized aboard a yacht near Uruguay's capital, Montevideo, in an international police operation codenamed "Balkan Warrior."

He managed to avoid arrest and had been on the run after an international arrest warrant was issued against him.

Saric allegedly laundered his drug-smuggling profits by investing in major privatization deals in Serbia.

He is also said to have built a vast political patronage network at the highest levels of Serbian politics.

With reporting by B92 and dpa