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Eleven Serbian gang members arrested after violent 'settling of scores' attack on rival clan in Estepona
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Eleven Serbian gang members arrested after violent 'settling of scores' attack on rival clan in Estepona

Among those arrested is the alleged leader of the organisation who has an international arrest warrant against his name and is considered to be a "high-value target" by police

Europa Press

Malaga

Tuesday, 7 May 2024, 10:40

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A gang accused of robbing the home of a rival group in Estepona has been smashed after National Police arrested 11 people. They were arrested in the provinces of Malaga, Madrid and Barcelona. Nine have been sent to prison for alleged illegal detention, robbery with violence, weapon possession, forgery, drug trafficking and belonging to a criminal organisation.

Among those arrested is the alleged leader of the gang, who has an international arrest warrant issued by Serbia against his name, from where he had fled in 2021 and was considered a "high-value target" and one of the country's most wanted, according to sources.

Police on the Costa del Sol started their investigations last January after officers discovered five Serbian citizens had been treated in a hospital in Malaga for serious injuries. Further enquiries revealed they were injured during a raid on their home, when it came under siege by intruders armed with guns - and they were tied up and beaten.

Those injured failed to cooperate with police enquiries, but Spanish investigators then spoke to Serbian authorities, and determined they could be dangerous criminals. From the start of the investigation, police suspected the attack could have been a settling of scores between Serbian clans.

Police inspected the home and found traces of blood and then a pistol, with the serial number erased, which the perpetrators had left in the area of the crime during their escape. The attack had been carefully prepared in advance with the execution of the acts reminiscent of military tactics, including the use of a drone to prepare the assault and keep an eye on the victims, according to investigators.

Eight people took part in the attack on the property, five of them descending on the house and three carrying out surveillance in the area. Once all the alleged perpetrators had been identified, and in close cooperation with Serbian authorities, it was determined the organiser of the attack was the leader of a dangerous armed criminal organisation linked to drug trafficking, who was on the run from Serbian police. He is one of the country's most wanted persons since 2021, according to Serbian authorities.

Drone seized in searches

Following the progress of the investigation and after learning the organisation had moved again to Malaga province, a police operation was organised to arrest those involved.

During the operation, seven houses were searched, five in Estepona (Malaga), one in Madrid and another in Vilassar de Dalt (Barcelona), in which two pistols with the serial number erased, more than a hundred cartridges, a bag with tools the agents believe were going to be used in another attack, seven false identity documents, a drone and 16,000 euros in cash were seized.

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