Turkey: Serbian drug lord detained in Istanbul

Turkey: Serbian drug lord detained in Istanbul
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Gang leader Zeljko Bojanic was wanted by Interpol with red notice on charges of murder and drug smuggling

Police detained a Serb national wanted by Interpol on murder charges in Istanbul after main opposition leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu accused the government allowing foreign drug lords into Turkey for their contribution in closing the current account deficit.

Serbian gang leader Zeljko Bojanic was caught with a fake passport in a villa in Sariyer district of Istanbul where he was hiding. Police squads dug up the courtyard of the villa suspecting that the body of another Serbian national who is thought to be killed by Bojanic might be buried there. 

Turkish media claimed the murder was part of a strife between the drug gangs during which some 50 people have been killed since 2014.

Last week, main opposition CHP (Republican People’s Party) leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu accused the government of “inviting the drug lords to operate in Turkey which turned the country into a conflict zone.”

Kilicdaroglu claimed the Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu allowed those gangs because they also brought money, dubbing him as “Breaking Bad Suleyman,” referring to the TV series where a chemist turns into a drug dealer in search of money. 

“They used this dirty money, billions of dollars of drug money to finance Turkey's current account deficit. (...) As a result, many drug lords and drug gangs from all over the world came to Istanbul with their money and settled down. They turned Istanbul into a conflict zone of the world's criminal organizations, the drug barons of the international mafia,” Kilicdaroglu said.

Commentator Cengiz Erdic said Zeljko Bojanic was the leader of a gang that smuggled cocaine from South America to Europe and he has been supposedly hiding in Turkey since 2014.

“Obviously he with a huge amount of money and bought a villa which costs several million dollars. No one asked hem where he got this money,” Erdinc said. 

Erdinc claimed many other gang members who were sought by Interpol with red notice were running their own shows in Turkey.