Serbian minister Vulin says FBI not involved in breaking up crime group

NEWS 03.08.2021 14:25
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Source: MUP Republike Srbije

Internal Affairs Minister Aleksandar Vulin told Belgrade police chiefs that only Serbian law enforcement agencies were involved in investigating and arresting the Belivuk organized crime group, denying claims of FBI involvement.

“The FBI did not take part in breaking up that gang and I won’t allow the demeaning of the efforts of the Serbian police,” Vulin told the heads of the Belgrade Criminal Police Department.

Claims of FBI involvement initially came from Vulin’s predecessor turned Defense Minister Nebojsa Stefanovic who said that the the key moment in the investigation into the Belivuk crime group was when the FBI broke the encryption on an app used for the group’s internal communication. “The Information that the FBI shared with European and Serbia service helped in gathering evidence,” he said. The group’s boss Veljko Belivuk told prosecutors that he and his associates had close ties with state and ruling party officials, including President Aleksandar Vucic and Minister Vulin who told them to take control of the Partizan FC supporter group opposed to the authorities.

Also speaking on Tuesday, Vucic repeated his claim that the FBI played no role in breaking up the Belivuk group. He told reporters that Stefanovic told him that he was speaking in general terms about FBI involvement, not specifically this case.