Montenegrin clan leader killed in Turkey

Montenegrin clan leader killed in Turkey
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Jovan Vukotić, the head of Montenegro’s violent Škaljari clan who was in hiding in Turkey, shot dead in Istanbul

Jovan Vukotić, the leader of Montenegro’s one of the two most violent criminal gangs has been assassinated in Turkey last week.

Škaljari gang’s Vukotić who has escaped Turkey following a government crackdown against the organization, was in his car with his wife and daughter in Istanbul, when an unknown attacker shot him from a motorcycle, Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) said on Tuesday.

Turkey with a pivotal location at the crossroads between Asia, the Middle East and Europe, ranks 12th out of 193 countries with its criminality score, according to Global Organized Crime Index. Human trafficking, human smuggling, arms trafficking and heroin trade are among Turkey’s highlights, the index shows, with a significant number of mafia-style groups operating in the country. 

Foreign mafia groups and illegally armed groups are also becoming increasingly visible in Turkey, according to the Global Organized Crime Index data.

Two notorious gangs, Škaljari and Kavač were fighting each other for years and Montenegrin and Serbian authorities have intensified their persecution against them, focusing on the gangs’ leaders, OCCRP said, citing Serbian investigative outlet KRIK

Vukotić, 42, was most likely hiding from the authorities, as well as from his opponents, the outlet said.

Both the Kavač and Škaljari gangs were originated from Kotor region at the Adriatic coast, used to smuggle cocaine from South America into Europe together but split over a bad deal in 2014, OCCRP said.

Vukotić was also accused of inciting the murder of his rivals, allegedly offering four million euros ($4.016 million) for their heads.