BREAKTHROUGH: 2 arrested in connection with SA spook's murder in Serbia

2018-06-11 17:39
George Darmanovic. (Supplied)

George Darmanovic. (Supplied)

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Two men have been taken into custody in connection with the murder of South African state security contract agent George Darmanovic, who was gunned down in Serbia last month, it was announced on Monday in a press release posted on Serbia's Ministry of Internal Affairs website.

A third suspect, wanted internationally for murder, was also arrested, but in connection with an allegedly forged document discovered in an apartment apparently used by the other two suspects.

Darmanovic was shot in Belgrade on May 6 and died in hospital.

It was reported by Serbian media at the time that two men behind the shooting had left the scene on a scooter.

The press released issued on Monday by the Ministry of Internal Affairs in Belgrade said that two suspects, identified only as SM and S.Ð, who are both from Krusevac, which is in central Serbia, were arrested because of suspicions they may have played a role in aiding the carrying out of Darmanovic's murder.

Apartments searched, forged document discovered

It was believed the two suspects had helped another man, who was no longer alive and who the Telgraf reported as being murdered Dejan Stankovic Zdrokin - who was killed a month after his son, who was alleged to have been the head of the Krusevac underworld, was shot dead - and another person, in committing the crime.

The press release said that the suspects had been taken to the Higher Public Prosecutor's Office in Belgrade.

It stated that Vladimir Rebic, a police director, said that when apartments used by the two suspects were searched, it was discovered that another person, with an international arrest warrant against him or her for a murder committed in Bosnia and Herzegovina, had allegedly forged a document.

This person, according to the press release, was then arrested and taken to the Basic Public Prosecutor's Office in Mladenovac. 

Information peddler

Darmanovic, who was previously based in South Africa, was described by sources as a serial information peddler.

Former president Jacob Zuma met with him at his official office in Pretoria when Zuma was still head of state.

READ: EXCLUSIVE: Zuma's mystery meeting with South African spook murdered in Serbia

Zuma and Darmanovic, along with Frans Richards, who previously worked in South African intelligence circles, as well as a fourth man said to be linked to state security work but whose identity was not immediately apparent, were photographed in Zuma's office in 2012.

Richards previously confirmed the authenticity of the photograph and told News24: "It was not a social meeting."

At the time of his murder Darmanovic was apparently preparing to try and take down some of South Africa's most high profile figures allegedly linked to the underworld.

READ: REVEALED: SA intelligence agent murdered in Serbia was probing Cape underworld

It is understood he specifically wanted to target an individual whose name has repeatedly been linked to alleged crimes relating to the underworld in Cape Town, and who may have links to other figures in other provinces.

The motive behind Darmanovic's murder is not yet clear, with some sources suggesting it may have been linked to local organised crime, and others saying it could have involved crime suspects in Serbia.

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Read more on:    george darmanovic  |  serbia  |  crime

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