ATHENS – Two men shot dead in front of their families at a Greek taverna, one from Slovenia and the other from Montenegro had international arrest warrants out against them on charges of being in a drug dealing gang, police told the Athens-Macedonian News Agency (ANA-MPA).
The alleged gangsters were surprised by four masked gunmen who tore into the restaurant and killed them, also wounding the wife of one who was hospitalized with leg injuries and as the assailants then fled in a black jeep-type vehicle, witnesses said.
Police who were conducting a dragnet for them recovered 20 gun shells from the area in the tavern at the seacoast town of Vari southeast of Athens and law enforcement officials were planning to go to Serbia to discuss the murder of Igor Dedovic and Stevan Stamatovic.
The two victims had links to gangs in Serbia and were known as leading members of one of the most powerful criminal organizations in the Balkans, the report said, with Greek police trying to figure if they were in Greece in a bid to hide or set up a criminal gang in the country.
Their organization, the Skaljari clan, is based in the Montenegrin town of Kotor and has imported large quantities of cocaine from Latin America to Europe and has been tied too a 136-kilo cocaine haul discovered by Greek authorities in an apartment in Athens suburb of Varkiza in 2017.
According to Serbian media, the two were murdered by a rival gang from Montenegro, said Greek media, including Kathimerini.
The Serbian daily newspaper Vecernje Novosti said that Greece is becoming a haven for criminals from other Balkan countries, such as Albania, Serbia and Montenegro.
“This region is a playground for Russian, Serbian and Arab criminals. Over the last five or six years, there has been an increasing number of confrontations. If they are not deported as soon as possible, the southern suburbs will become Beirut!” one reader complained to the paper.