PRESSURE FROM NARCO-MAFIA:

FEBRUARY 10 2010 16:33h

Serbia's drug mafia threatens top officials daily

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Serbian drug traffickers are sending daily death threats to the country's top officials, including president Boris Tadic.

BELGRADE, February 10, 2010 (AFP) - Serbian drug traffickers are sending daily death threats to the country's top officials, including president Boris Tadic, Deputy Prime Minister Ivica Dacic said.

"Serious death threats come in from the narco-mafia on a daily basis," Dacic, who is also Interior Minister, said in an interview with Wednesday's Press daily.

"I receive threats but also President Boris Tadic, senior officials at the Justice Ministry (and) the special prosecutor (for organized crime, Miljko Radisavljevic)," Dacic said.

The daily said that the police have "significantly reinforced security for all state officials who received threatening messages."

The authorities have recently cracked down on organized crime, including a cartel smuggling huge amounts of drugs from South America to Europe.

In October, the US Drug Enforcement Agency and the Serbian security agency seized 2.8 tonnes of cocaine in international waters, with an estimated value of 120 million euros (170 million dollars), destined for the European market.

Several members of the trafficking ring have since been arrested while Serbia issued an international arrest warrant for the suspected leaders, brothers Darko and Dusko Saric.

"The entire state is fully devoted to fight against the narco-mafia," Dacic said.