Serb mafia in Scandinavia

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Serb mafia in Scandinavia
Founded by Željko Ražnatović
Founding location Stockholm, Sweden
Years active 1970s-present
Territory Stockholm, Malmö, Copenhagen, Gothenburg
Ethnicity Serbs
Membership (est.) Unknown
Criminal activities Cigarette smuggling, drug trafficking, robbery, prostitution, extortion, illegal gambling
Allies Hells Angels

The Serb mafia in Scandinavia, also known as "Juggemaffian" ("Yugo Mafia") is an organized crime group in Sweden and Denmark. The foundations of the gang began during the mass immigration of Yugoslav guest-workers to Sweden in the 1970s. Its power base is in the cities of Stockholm and Copenhagen,[1] and territory in Malmö and Gothenburg, among other cities in western Sweden.[2] They received significant media attention in Sweden especially during the 1990s, thanks to flashy top-ranking members such as Dragan "Jokso" Joksović. The founder and first leader of the gang is believed to be warlord Željko "Arkan" Ražnatović,[3] and the current leader is alleged to be Milan Ševo.[4]


The beginnings of the "Yugo Mafia" came with the large waves of guest-workers from Yugoslavia to Northern Europe in the 1960s and 1970s. During this time Socialist Yugoslavia was emptying its prisons and flooding Western Europe with Yugoslav criminals, many of whom created organized criminal rings in Germany, Austria, Denmark, and Sweden. One of these newly freed criminals was Željko "Arkan" Ražnatović, who in 1972 began organizing large heists and hijackings across Western Europe, accumulating a group of subordinates, wealth, and a feared reputation in the underworld. In 1974 Arkan moved to Stockholm from where he organized 5 bank robberies and 12 armed robberies across Sweden. Arkan was at the helm of the gang until 1979, at which point he fled Sweden due to Interpol Warrants.[5]

Arkan's childhood friend Dragan "Jokso" Joksović is believed to eventually have taken control of the Serb mafia in Sweden, broadening the gang's focus from robbery to cigarette smuggling and extortion. Although indicted multiple times for drug offenses and assault, he was never convicted. Owner of several upscale Stockholm restaurants he had close ties to celebrities and politicians in Sweden - eventually being murdered by hit-men on February 4, 1998.[6]

In the late 1990s disagreements over money, territory and leadership caused a degree of infighting within the Serb mafia in Scandinavia.

Soon after Jokso's murder, the next boss Ratko "Cobra" Đokić was shot 30 times and killed in the center of Stockholm in 2003.[7] Cobra's son-in-law, Milan Ševo, then became the new head of the Serbian Brotherhood - being dubbed "Godfather of Stockholm". Milan survived several assassination attempts and in 2005 left Stockholm for Belgrade, Serbia, from where he is believed to have continued control of the organization. Ševo is suspected by Swedish and Serbian authorities to be behind the infamous 2009 Stockholm Helicopter Heist worth 10 million euros.[8]

In 2005, the Danish government label the Serb mafia as having a "leading role in smuggling heroin into Denmark", surpassing the Albanians and Turks in the Copenhagen drug market.[9] Besides heroin, the Serb mafia is active in trafficking large quantities of cocaine and marijuana through Sweden and Denmark.[10][11]

Popular culture[edit]

  • The Danish film series Pusher, features a Serbian gang.
  • Jens Lapidus' book Snabba Cash, which was adapted into film in Easy Money, features the Serb mafia in Sweden.
  • A biography on Milan Ševo by Swedish author Nuri Kino entitled The Swedish Godfather.
  • TV Documentary broadcast on Swedish TV3 about Dragan "Jokso" Joksović titled Den store Jokso: Gangster eller gentleman ("The Great Jokso: Gangster or Gentleman").
  • TV Documentary broadcast on Swedish SVT about Serb mafia in Sweden, titled Cigarettkriget ("The Cigarette War", filmed 1997–1999)[12]
  • Book on crime groups in Sweden, titled Svensk maffia ("Swedish Mafia"), has a chapter on the Serb mafia in Sweden.


See also[edit]


  1. ^ [1]("Serbian crime networks seem to be taking a leading role particularly in the smuggling of heroin into Denmark"), Civil and Police Department, 2005
  2. ^ [2]("several Serb Brotherhood gangs operate in western Sweden."),, September 2, 2005
  3. ^ [3]("Arkan was considered to manage their business interests in Sweden from Yugoslavia"), Swedish Daily, October 4, 2009
  4. ^ [4]("Milan Ševo is nicknamed the godfather of Stockholm"), Los Angeles Times, December 10, 2006
  5. ^
  6. ^ [5] ("He was singled out as one of the largest in the underworld"), Aftonbladet, February 5, 1998
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^ [6] ("6 kilos of cocaine found in investigation of 'Serbian Brotherhood' member") Copenhagen Police, 2008
  11. ^ [7] ("Norwegian police believe 500 kilos of marijuana was supplied by the Serbian Brotherhood"), March 8, 2004
  12. ^
  13. ^ [8]("He counseled Arkan, Joksovic and Djokic."), Los Angeles Times, December 10, 2006