Cooperation between Serbia and Montenegro in the fight against organised crime

Organised criminal groups (OCGs) from Serbia and Montenegro play a significant role in the life of crime in the Western Balkans. When the conflict between the Montenegrin clans ‘Škaljari’ and ‘Kavač’ started in 2014, greatly impacting the Serbian criminal underworld, everyone expected a more intensive cooperation between the competent institutions of these two countries. Although the necessary international agreements were already signed, at the beginning a certain level of mistrust between the institutions prevented cooperation. In this sense, we analysed the cooperation between the police forces and the prosecutor’s offices of Serbia and Montenegro in the fight against organised crime (OC). Namely, the fight against OC occupies a high place on the political agenda of state officials of both countries. This is supported by the meetings of their ministers of interior affairs/police directors, which are held at least once a year, while operational meetings of police representatives are organised several times per year. The law enforcement authorities of Montenegro address their Serbian colleagues more frequently in connection with cases related to OC, and in that aspect it is possible to improve the cooperation between the prosecutor’s offices. To conclude, cooperation is continuous, but there are still cases whose solution depends on political will.

Key conclusion is that essential cooperation between the police and the judicial authorities is actually insufficient, as there is a lack of cooperation in the investigation phase in cases of OC, including parallel investigations.

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