Balkan boxer charged with US coke drinking record

Balkan boxer charged with US coke drinking record

US cocaine trafficker Goran Gogic

Goran Gogic at a boxing occasion in Germany in 2004. Photograph: Lars Baron/Bongarts/Getty Pictures.

A former heavyweight boxer from Montenegro in southern Europe was accused within the largest cocaine bust in US historical past.

Goran Gogic, 43, is accused of main a large cocaine smuggling operation that funneled medication by means of US ports from South America to European markets.

Gogic was arrested in Miami on Sunday night as he tried to board a flight to Zurich. He was accused of facilitating three shipments found at US ports in 2019 that totaled greater than 20 metric tons of cocaine.

The most important interception of practically 18 metric tons in June 2019 on the MSC Gayane, a container ship docked on the Port of Philadelphia, can be the most important cocaine seizure on file in america, prosecutors for the Japanese District of New York. York, who introduced the arrest.

It’s no coincidence that the most important cocaine seizure in US historical past concerned a cargo destined for the rising European market.

“Welcome to the globalized financial system,” a Belgian customs official instructed VICE World Information. He stated investigations to find out the vacation spot of the intercepted cocaine had been ongoing for a while. “There are hyperlinks with Belgium and the Netherlands, however these must be correctly investigated to find out the extent,” stated the official, who doesn’t have authorities permission to talk overtly to the media. .

The charge accuses Gogic, who had a reasonably profitable profession as knowledgeable boxer within the early 2000s, of coordinating logistics to change tons of cocaine from containers arriving in america from South America to containers certain for ports European nations to flee customs management.

He alleges Gogic coordinated the shipments by bringing large quantities of cocaine to US ports, the place the shipments had been damaged down into smaller packages and distributed by means of a community of corrupt ship’s crews and dockworkers who ended up in Europe. . Prosecutors describe Gogic group swapping ‘clear’ containers already cleared by customs for cloned containers containing counterfeit paperwork and seals containing cocaine, in addition to utilizing cranes and speedboats to switch items offshore and out of sight of customs officers.

Eight sailors from MSC Gayane pleaded responsible when arrested and faces time for cocaine trafficking when arrested in 2019 as low-level soldiers in what prosecutors have described as a large and complicated operation involving criminals from Colombia to america in a community of cartels primarily based in Europe.

“The arrest and indictment of Gogic, a former boxer allegedly liable for trafficking a staggering quantity of cocaine, over 20 tons, which he tried to smuggle by means of US ports, is a powerful victory for legislation enforcement,” U.S. Lawyer Breon Peace stated. . “The meticulous planning of the defendant and his co-conspirators did not have in mind the federal brokers whose laborious work culminated on this large blow to the group and people liable for the distribution of large quantities of cocaine. .”

Prosecutors claimed the set of busts had a market worth of $1 billion, though a drug trafficking knowledgeable stated the worth can be half that if bought wholesale.

Gogic allegedly works for a community of Serbian and Albanian organized crime teams as a logistics coordinator and liaison between Colombian cocaine producers and Balkan cartels to facilitate shipments, in response to a Balkan legislation enforcement official, who requested to not be named for safety causes. .

“Gogic is a ports and delivery knowledgeable, able to work with many alternative teams,” the official stated. “We do not know if that is the work of 1 band or his work for a number of bands, we’d like extra data and additional investigation.”

It’s stated that Europe has overtook the United States as the most important marketplace for cocaine, in response to the UN, and over the previous 5 years legislation enforcement officers and Europol have warned that cartels dominated by the Moroccan mafia primarily based in Holland and Belgium, cartels Serbs and Albanians and the Italian Ndrangheta have come to dominate the commerce and are flooding the EU with cocaine.

In 2021, the port of Antwerp seized a file 83 metric tonnes of cocaine, whereas the neighboring port of Rotterdam seized greater than 60 tonnes, two European data which officers at each ports say might be damaged in 2022, as busts have continued at roughly the identical fee. tempo than final 12 months.

The huge inflow of cocaine through the Netherlands and Belgium over the previous decade has sparked a decade-long struggle inside the Moroccan mafia for management of ports that has left dozens lifeless throughout Europe . The violence has raised critical considerations concerning the economic and legal the steadiness of the 2 nations, European officers say, solely grew to become clear when legislation enforcement successfully hacked a collection of encrypted telephone techniques utilized by cartels in 2020.

“It was like a lightweight went on in a room,” a Europol analyst stated of the telephone hack, talking on situation of anonymity. “We had groped round in a darkish room and out of the blue we might briefly see the entire home. And what we found was that the cartels of Serbs and Albanians within the Western Balkans had been a lot bigger, extra highly effective and extra refined than we had imagined,” the official stated.

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