Crime in Serbia

Crime in Serbia is combated by the Serbian Police and other government agencies.

Crime by type


In 2012, Serbia had a murder rate of 1.2 per 100,000 population.[1] There were a total of 111 murders in Serbia in 2012.[1]

Organised crime

Serbian Organised Crime (Serbian: Cpпска мафија / Srpska Mafija, Serbian Mafia) are various criminal organisations based in Serbia or composed of ethnic Serbs. Serbian criminals are active in the European Union (EU) countries. The organisations are primarily involved in smuggling, arms trafficking, drug trafficking, protection racket, illegal gambling, jewelry and gems theft, bodyguarding, and contract killing. The Mafia is composed of several major organised groups, which in turn have wider networks throughout primarily Europe.

The Yugoslav Wars prompted criminals a "way out" of economic disaster during the international imposed sanctions against Serbia. Serbian criminals have been recruited to state security forces, a notable example is Legija, a commander in the Arkan's Tigers which after the war was re-labeled as the JSO (Red Berets), he planned the murder of Prime Minister Zoran Đinđić.[2]


Corruption levels are perceived to be high by surveyed residents of Serbia, and public trust in key institutions remains low.[3]

Public procurement, public administration recruitment processes, mining and rail operations are sectors with a serious problem of conflict of interest.[3] The European Commission has raised concern over Serbia's judiciary, police, health and education sectors that are particularly vulnerable to corruption.[4] Transparency Serbia estimated in September 2016 that at least 374,000 cases of "petty corruption" in public services remain undiscovered every year.[5]


Piracy in Serbia is increasing in intensity in 2000s and 2010s.[6] Especially threatened is the shipping on the part of Danube between Belgrade and Smederevo.[7] Most commonly, pirates will plunder bulk cargo such as oil, coke, metals, grains, sugar or fertilizers, but sometimes also remove cables and electric motors from the ships.[7]

The confrontations of the pirates with the crews rarely escalate, with a single shipman murder recorded, in late-2000s.[7] This is, in part, because crews will often cooperate with the pirates, sell part of the cargo, then report the piracy in order to receive insurance money.[8][9] Cases of cooperation of the pirates with the police have also been recorded.[9]

The pirates will also often engage in smuggling fuel and other goods across Danube.[8]

False bomb threats

False bomb threats are relatively common in Serbia. Since the police reacts to every bomb threat by searching the entire buildings for the possible bomb,[10] most common targets are schools[10] where students will phone in a threat to delay their exams, and courts[11] where people expecting to lose a trial will phone in to delay it. Due to false bomb threats, the building of the High Court in Belgrade had to be evacuated more than 70 times in 2008[11]

Less common targets include those as diverse as Belgrade firefighters' headquarters,[12] a residential building[13] or Kraljevo public library.[14]

Frequency of the false bomb threats was reduced in 2009, after a new law specified harsher, triplified, punishments.[13]

Crime dynamics

Serbian law enforcement authorities have prioritised fighting drug trafficking, terrorism and organised crime during the late 2000s.[15]


  1. ^ a b Global Study on Homicide. United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, 2013.
  2. ^ Organized Crime in the Western Balkans
  3. ^ a b "The Global Integrity Report 2011- Serbia". Global Integrity. Retrieved 22 April 2014.
  4. ^ "SERBIA 2013 PROGRESS REPORT" (PDF). European Commission. Retrieved 22 April 2014.
  5. ^ Transparency Serbia's Press Issue on GCB 2015. "Unreported corruption is the biggest problem, measures of the state so far without success,". Retrieved 2016-11-01.
  6. ^ Ilić, J. (2014-09-26). "Smederevo: Pirati haraju na Dunavu". Večernje novosti. Belgrade. Retrieved 2014-12-24.
  7. ^ a b c Vukasović, Vladimir (2008-12-04). "Речни "пирати" бољи трговци него пљачкаши". Politika. Belgrade. Retrieved 2015-12-22.
  8. ^ a b Vukasović, Vladimir; Luković, Marko (2010-05-27). "Шверц нафте дуж Дунава и даље "национални спорт"". Politika. Belgrade. Retrieved 2015-02-12.
  9. ^ a b Ilić, J. (2012-03-16). "Smederevo: Šverc istočio barže". Večernje novosti. Belgrade. Retrieved 2015-01-19.
  10. ^ a b Vasiljević, B (2008-02-29). "Лажне "бомбашке" узбуне – опасне игре малолетника". Politika. Belgrade. Retrieved 2014-12-24.
  11. ^ a b Tanjug (2014-09-26). "Поново лажна дојава о бомби у Палати правде". Politika. Belgrade. Retrieved 2014-12-24.
  12. ^ T.M:S. (2014-12-11). "Lažna dojava o bombi u sedištu Vatrogasne brigade u Beogradu". Blic. Belgrade. Retrieved 2014-12-24.
  13. ^ a b Vasiljević, B. (2011-05-24). "Закон прекида бомбашку "телефонијаду"". Politika. Belgrade. Retrieved 2014-12-24.
  14. ^ Tanjug (2011-11-08). "Kraljevo: Lažna dojava o bombi u Narodnoj biblioteci". Večernje novosti. Belgrade. Retrieved 2014-12-24.
  15. ^
Aleksandar Vučić

Aleksandar Vučić (Serbian Cyrillic: Александар Вучић, pronounced [aleksǎːndar ʋǔtʃitɕ]; born 5 March 1970) is a Serbian politician who has been the President of Serbia since 31 May 2017. After leaving the ultranationalist Serbian Radical Party in 2008, he became one of the founders of the populist conservative Serbian Progressive Party (SNS) and he has been the party's Chairman since 2012.

Before his tenure as his country's president Vučić served as the Prime Minister of Serbia in two terms from 2014-2016 and from 2016 until 2017, as well as the Deputy Prime Minister since 2012 until 2014. Furthermore, Vučić served as a member of the Serbian parliament, Minister of Information from 1998 to 2000 under the Slobodan Milošević regime and later as Minister of Defence from 2012 to 2013.

In April 2017, Vučić was elected President of Serbia with over 55% of the vote in the first round, thus avoiding a second round. He formally assumed office on 31 May 2017, succeeding Tomislav Nikolić. His ceremonial inauguration ceremony was held on 23 June 2017. Observers have described his rule as authoritarian or autocratic, criticizing curtailed press freedom. His political positions are described as pro-European Union, conservative and populist.

Assassination of Zoran Đinđić

Zoran Đinđić, the sixth Prime Minister of the Republic of Serbia, was assassinated at 12:23 p.m. Central European Time on Wednesday, March 12, 2003, in Belgrade, Serbia. Đinđić was fatally shot by a sniper while exiting his vehicle outside of the back entrance of the Serbian government headquarters.

Brankica Stanković

Brankica Stanković (Serbian Cyrillic: Бранкица Станковић; born October 1975) is a prominent Serbian investigative journalist reporting on topics of crime and political corruption in Serbia. She is the main writer of the investigative television news programme Insajder (Serbian for "Insider") broadcast on B92 television since 2004. Her reports led to much controversy, and she routinely receives death threats. For that reason, she has been placed under 24 hours police protection since December 2009.

Corruption in Serbia

Corruption levels are perceived to be high by surveyed residents of Serbia, and public trust in key institutions remains low.

Crime that Changed Serbia

See You in the Obituary (Serbian: Bидимо се у читуљи/Vidimo se u čitulji) is a 1995 made-for-TV 35-minute documentary film, authored by Aleksandar Knežević and Vojislav Tufegdžić (Knežević and Tufegdžić are also the script writers), technical part of the film directed by Janko Baljak, based on the book The Crime that Changed Serbia by Knežević and Tufegdžić and produced by the Belgrade-based independent news broadcaster B92.

The unprecedented contacts and subsequent interviews with the criminals would have not been possible had not Knežević and Tufegdžić been covering the post of organised crime in their respective magazines, gaining the trust of the depicted characters. In more than 90 percent of cases Knežević and Tugedžić, due to the dangerous circumstances that required extreme caution and as small film crew as possible, were accompanied only by a camera operator.

Made in the form of an extended news report and narrated by journalist Dina Čolić-Anđelković, the film presents a snapshot of the chaotic Belgrade criminal underworld in the early 1990s which sprung up against the backdrop of Yugoslav wars. The film is composed of fragments from interviews with individuals directly involved with criminal activities either through perpetrating them or through trying to stop them.

Over the years the film developed a cult following, mainly due to its raw authenticity, characters interviewed, and the portrayal of the politically, economically and socially turbulent period of the early and mid 1990s in Serbia.

Kristijan Golubović

Aleksandar "Kristijan" Golubović (Serbian Cyrillic: Александар "Кристијан" Голубовић; born 30 November 1969) is a Serbian public personality and Mixed martial artist. He was featured among several other Belgrade gangsters in the 1996 documentary about Serbia's underworld titled See You in the Obituary. Golubović is one of only a few individuals, out of dozens featured in the film, still alive today.

After spending four and a half years in prison for activities related to drugs in Požarevac. He was released on January 9, 2009.

As of 2016, he is imprisoned again for the same level of crime,again arrested for drug dealing and is now currently serving time for his penalty in Zabela Prison.

Law enforcement in Serbia

The Police of Serbia (Serbian Cyrillic: Полиција Србије), formally the Police of the Republic of Serbia (Serbian Cyrillic: Полиција Републике Србије), commonly abbreviated to Serbian Police (Serbian Cyrillic: Српска полиција), is the civilian police force of Serbia. The Serbian Police is responsible for all local and national law enforcement. It is under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Internal Affairs. The General Police Directorate of the Ministry of Internal Affairs has 15 organizational units and 27 Regional Police Directorates.

Marko Milošević

Marko Milošević (Serbian Cyrillic: Марко Милошевић; born 3 July 1974) is the son of former Serbian President Slobodan Milošević. He was allegedly involved in organized crime in Serbia during the Yugoslav Wars until he fled the country following his father's removal from power on 5 October 2000. Milošević was later granted refugee status by Russia, and is likely living in Moscow with his wife Milica Gajić and son Marko.

Murder of Tijana Jurić

Tijana Jurić (Serbian Cyrillic: Тијана Јурић; 4 May 1999 — 26 July 2014) was a Serbian girl. She was kidnapped and murdered on 26 July 2014. Dragan Đurić was arrested for the crime.

Operation Sabre (Serbia)

Operation Sabre (Serbian: Операција Сабља, Operacija Sablja) was a Serbian police operation in 2003 to find and arrest those responsible for the assassination of the Prime Minister, Zoran Đinđić, as well as other persons who were suspected to have connections to organized crime groups.

Outline of Serbia

The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to Serbia:

Serbia – landlocked sovereign country located in Southeastern Europe and comprising the southern portion of the Pannonian Plain and a central portion of the Balkan Peninsula. Serbia is bordered by Hungary to the north; Romania and Bulgaria to the east; the Republic of Macedonia and constitutionally only, Albania (via Kosovo, a disputed territory over which Serbia has no control, thus no direct access to Albania) to the south; and Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro to the west. The capital of Serbia is Belgrade.

For centuries, shaped at cultural boundaries between East and West, a powerful medieval kingdom – later renamed the Serbian Empire – occupied much of the Balkans. Torn by domestic feuds, Ottoman, Hungarian, and later, Austrian incursions, the Serbian state collapsed by the mid-16th century. The positive outcome of the Serbian revolution in 1817 marked the birth of modern Serbia. Within a century it reacquired Kosovo, Raška and Vardar Macedonia from the Ottoman Empire. Likewise, in 1918 the former autonomous Habsburg crownland of Vojvodina proclaimed its secession from Austria-Hungary to unite with Serbia, preceded by the Syrmia region.

The current borders of the country were established following the end of World War II, when Serbia became a federal unit within the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.

Serbia became an independent state again in 2006, after Montenegro left the union that formed after the dissolution of Yugoslavia in 1990s.

In February 2008, the parliament of Kosovo unilaterally declared independence from Serbia. Serbia's government, as well as the UN Security Council, have not recognized Kosovo's independence. The response from the international community has been mixed.

Serbia is a member of the United Nations, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, and the Council of Europe, and is an associate member of the European Union.

Serbian mafia

Serbian organized crime or Serbian mafia (Serbian: Cpпска мафија / Srpska mafija) are various criminal organizations based in Serbia or composed of ethnic Serbs in the former Yugoslavia and Serbian diaspora. The organizations are primarily involved in smuggling, arms trafficking, heists, drug trafficking, protection rackets, and illegal gambling. The mafia is composed of several major organized groups, which in turn have wider networks throughout Europe.

It includes some highly successful groups, including one of the largest cocaine import enterprises in Europe "Groupa Amerika", and the "YACS" Crime Group, out of NYC. The "Pink Panthers" is responsible for some of the biggest heists ever committed. Its origin dates back to SFRY, which had very low crime rate, as criminals were allowed to live peacefully in Yugoslavia as long as they restricted their operations to abroad, and then bring the stolen goods and capital back to be spent at home. The Serbian mafia gave many Serbs a perceived way out of the economic disaster that occurred in the country following the implementation of internationally imposed sanctions against Serbia during the Yugoslav Wars. Serbian criminals have been recruited into state security forces, a notable example being Milorad "Legija" Ulemek, a commander in Arkan's Tigers, which was re-labelled as the JSO (Red Berets) after the war. Legija also planned the assassination of Serbian Prime Minister Zoran Đinđić.Ethnic Serb organized crime groups are organized horizontally; higher-ranked members are not necessarily coordinated by any leader.

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