By David Amoruso
Posted on December 27, 2010
Sreten Jocic is a man whose name strikes fear into the hearts of cold blooded killers throughout Europe. For over three decades he has operated in the criminal underworld of several countries and risen to the top by being more vicious than the home-grown gangsters. But his reign seems to have come to an end by the hands of the law.
Jocic was born on October 25, 1962 in Smederevska, Serbia. He began his career as a professional criminal in The Netherlands. There, he came under the tutelage of Zeljko “Arkan” Raznjatovic (who would go on to become an infamous warlord) with whom he was involved in several armed robberies. But robberies were a hazardous way of making money and in the 1980s Jocic joined the Yugoslav gang led by Ljubinko “Duja” Becirovic.
Becirovic was the leader of the “Belgrado group” which operated mainly in Amsterdam and was involved in drug trafficking, extortion, and gambling. Its members also have a notorious reputation within the Dutch underworld as ruthless killers. Jocic managed to solidify his position and became the right hand man of Becirovic.
In the late 1980s, the Belgrado group became involved in a war with a Dutch gang led by Klaas Bruinsma. The Yugoslavs claim some of Bruinsma’s men stole a shipment of drugs from them. Both sides refuse to cave in and this marks the beginning of a war that would claim the lives a dozens of gangsters on both sides. Both Becirovic and Bruinsma are murdered by assassins. In October of 1990, Becirovic is shot inside his house while his assailants are outside looking in. He dies in a hospital three weeks later. Bruinsma is shot to death at close range by cop-turned-gangster Martin Hoogland outside an Amsterdam hotel in the summer of 1991. Hoogland was an associate of the Belgrado group.
With Becirovic gone, Jocic assumes leadership of the gang and continues to apply pressure on the Dutch gangsters. So much even, that two of his targets decide they’d rather spend a year and a half in jail than face Jocic and his gang of hitmen. They tip off the police to a van filled with guns. The two men stand next to the van when cops arrive and put them in handcuffs.
Though Jocic seems to have the upper hand as far as a dangerous reputation goes, that doesn’t mean he himself isn’t in fear of retribution from the Dutch. When Dutch police raid his home, he assumes they are killers and fires two shots at the cops, one of which lands and injures a policeman. But in 1993, when the Yugoslav crime boss is sentenced to 1004 days in prison for the shooting, he is nowhere to be found. His extensive contacts within the European underworld have made it easy for him to travel to any country and manage his criminal affairs from there.
While the drug war raged on in The Netherlands, Jocic had become a successful crime boss in Eastern Europe. But the law has a wide reach, and in 2002, Jocic was arrested in Sofia, Bulgaria and extradited to The Netherlands to serve his sentence. In 2006, Jocic is flown to Serbia where he has been convicted of ordering the murders of Goran Marjanovic and his girlfriend Maria Dodevic in July of 1995, after which he is sentenced to 15 years in prison.
Fifteen years is a long time, but apparently Serbian authorities are not finished with Jocic. He is currently on trial for the deaths of journalists Ivo Pukanic and Niko Franjic, who were killed by a bomb in October of 2008. Jocic allegedly paid the hitman 1,5 million euros. If found guilty of these murders, it seems very likely that Jocic (right) his criminal career has come to an end.
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