The Trial of the Dacić Brothers Begins

They are accused of running a drug ring, laundering money and illegal possession of weapons.

One of the largest drug trafficking trials in years began last week in the Court of Bosnia-Herzegovina for two Montenegrin-born Bosniak brothers and a Turkish national charged with running a heroin trafficking ring that stretched from Turkey to Western Europe.

Proceedings began Thursday, Jan. 21 for brothers Hamdo and Ljutvija Dacić (also known as Haris Zornić) from Rožaje in Montenegro and their Turkish business partner Acik Can. The three will also face charges for money laundering and illegal possession of weapons.

The three men refused to speak to judges of the Organized Crime Chamber of the Court of BiH, and a not guilty plea was registered on their behalf by the court.

According to the indictment, the Dacićs set up a criminal group in 1998 that quickly grew into a large organization. They also commissioned people to transport, warehouse, and facilitate the sale of heroin. The Dacićs were accused of founding a company Majorka Sarajevo together with Can on January 28, 2002, solely to launder millions of KM in drug money. According to the indictment, the company Majorka Sarajevo filed loan applications with BOR Bank on several occasions in the total amount of over 1,000,000 KM in order to conceal the true sources of financing for the Hotel Exclusive in Rajlovac near Sarajevo. The three are suspected of laundering between 5 and 6 million KM in drug money.

The Center for Investigative Reporting in Sarajevo (CIN) published a story documenting the Dacićs empire in February of last year.

The Dacićs were regularly under police surveillance and were arrested for drug trafficking as far back as 1990s. Hamdija Dacić was arrested with 12.75 kilograms of heroin in November of 1999 at the Gorica border crossing between Slovenija and Italy. He was sentenced to eight years but managed to escape from an Italian prison one year later. Sarajevo police detained him in 2002, but he was released a short time later because Bosnian citizens can not be extradited to Italy.

According to police data, the Dacićs’ ring was repackaging drugs in a restaurant near Vogošće and transporting them to Western Europe. Police also got a tip that vehicles were being fitted with secret compartments for carrying drugs in a workshop in Rakovica.