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Police in Greece say a drug feud in the Balkans has led to dozens of murders across Europe

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Greek police announced Friday the outcome of a yearslong, multinational investigation into feuding criminal gangs in the Balkans behind multiple killings across Europe. The investigation, assisted by police stations Interpol and Europol, led to the arrest of ten suspects.

The arrests involved police officers from Greece, Serbia and Spain. According to Police Major General Fotis Douitsis, the decade-long rivalry between the gangs, mainly involved in drug trafficking, has killed 60 suspected gang members in several European countries.

The killings include two shootings in Greece in 2020 in which four members of a gang living under a false identity were gunned down. Two suspected gangsters were killed in a restaurant near Athens and the two others in a car in a parking lot on the island of Corfu.

At the press conference in Athens, Greek police also said they have identified a total of 39 alleged members of the warring gangs in Serbia and Montenegro.

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“A single criminal organization split into two separate, rival organizations in 2014 when a shipment of 200 kilos of cocaine was lost in Spain,” Doutsis told reporters.

Constantia Dimoglidou, a spokesperson for the Greek police, said that earlier this week one alleged gang member was arrested in Greece, seven in Serbia and two in Spain. She said 17 other gang members are prisoners in various European prisons, including in Serbia and Montenegro, as well as in Turkey.

The gangsters used migrant smuggling routes to enter and leave Greece, Dimoglidou said, as well as masks and wigs to conceal their identities during attacks.

The criminal networks had a sophisticated structure and had easy access to large sums of money, vehicles, weapons, ammunition and equipment, she said.

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Stojanovic reported from Belgrade, Serbia.

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