NARCO-POLITIK: ‘Dapper Don’, The Marriage Between Globalization & Organized Crime

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  • “…There are more anomalies in the 20-tons of cocaine seized on a container ship in Philadelphia than in a YouTube video about Area 51…After the cocaine seizure on the container ship MSC Gayane, a handful of seamen were taken into custody. Everything is way above their pay grade, like they’re extras in an old ‘Three Stooges in the Navy’ movie...there’s someone else close to Epstein— for whom Epstein had twenty phone numbers in his little black book— who shows the way to the people behind the big 20-ton coke move – It’s England’s Prince Andrews”

The Jeffrey Epstein Social Network & The Container Ship Crime Wave

By Daniel Hopsicker – (July 22, 2019)

What does the Jeffrey Epstein Social Network have to do with the massive 20 tons of cocaine seized on a container ship in Philadelphia a month ago?

There are more anomalies in the 20-tons of cocaine seized on a container ship in Philadelphia than in a YouTube video about Area 51.


After the cocaine seizure on the container ship MSC Gayane, a handful of seamen were taken into custody. Everything is way above their pay grade, like they’re extras in an old ‘Three Stooges in the Navy’ movie. 

Second Mate and titular drug kingpin Ivan Durasevich and three other detained sailors are all from Montenegro. They don’t hang out with Jeffrey Epstein. Their phone numbers aren’t in his little black book.

Yet lurking beneath the avalanche of elite debris sliding downhill in the Jeffrey Epstein scandal is a simple fact: In every country in the world in which there is a significant market for illicit drugs, the people who control that market are the same people that control the country.


Were the able seamen busted in Philadephia about to reap a billion dollar windfall until US Customs got in the way?

Or are they patsies taking the fall for the coke’s true owners?

Six degrees of Adnan Khashoggi


Author Vicki Ward, whose several profiles of Epstein in Vanity Fair make gripping reading, reported on Twitter last week, “One more thing about that passport the feds found in a safe in Epstein’s apartment with his photo but a different name and his country of residence listed as Saudi Arabia:

“In the 1980s, Jeffrey Epstein used to tell people he was a kind of financial bounty hunter whose job it was to “find” lost or stolen money for the government or for very rich people job.”

Ward reported, “According to one of my sources, one of the rich people for whom Jeffrey Epstein chased down money was Adnan Khashoggi, a powerful Saudi businessman.

What was Adnan Khashoggi doing that made him need assistance in debt collection? According to a declassified 1991 DIA report, Khashoggi was one of the biggest drug traffickers doing business in Colombia.


Years later, Khashoggi was a principal in drug trafficking flights from St. Peterburg Florida that resulted in the seizure in Mexico in 2006 and 2007 of nearly 10 tons of cocaine. Indications of Khashoggi’s involvement are too numerous to mention. See the Cocaine Archives here. 


For example, his lieutenant Ramy El Batrawi owned one of the two DC-9’s involved.

Also making drug flights from St. Petersburg was an executive jet, a Gulfstream II (N987SA), that was owned, until just two weeks before the fateful flight when it crashed in the Yucatan, by Russian Mob associate Arik Kislin.

The full story of the plane’s shifting ownership can be found here.

Qualifying for the Jeffrey Epstein Social Network

Start here:

Donald Trump and Adnan Khashoggi are friends. They go to each other’s weddings. Hang out in Aspen.Trump buys Khashoggi’s yacht.


Author Dominick Dunne: “The night before I left New York, I was at a dinner party in a beautiful Fifth Avenue apartment overlooking Central Park. There were sixteen people, among them the high-flying Donald and Ivana Trump. A major topic of conversation was Khashoggi’s imprisonment. “I read every word about Adnan Khashoggi,” Donald Trump said to me.

Trump and Khashoggi are also friends with Jeffrey Epstein. They attend events and parties with trucked-in models at Mar-a-Lago and elsewhere.

! Les-Wexner

Epstein partner Leslie Wexner owns Victoria’s Secret. Khashoggi traveled with dozens of women. Trump owned a modeling agency called (of course) Trump Model Management. Originally known as “T Models” it was founded in 1999.

For a while, it’s a thing.

Who else in their circle dabbled in models?  Arik Kislin.

Wait… Arik who?

The (Very) Shady Inn Crowd

Arik Kislin is the fifty-something son of Russian mobster Sam Kislin. As a 15 APR 2007 New York Post article headlined “The Shady ‘Inn’ Crowd”  reported:


“YOU never know who owns what these days. Case in point: the Hotel Gansevoort. Arik Kislin, one of seven principals in the trendy, 187-room Meatpacking District inn, once ran a firm with ties to a suspected Moscow hit man.”


“In the early 1990s, Kislin owned and was chairman of a Manhattan company called Blonde Management, which co-sponsored a U.S. visa sought by a Russian named Anton Malevskiy.”

“The FBI believed Malevskiy to be a professional assassin and head of one of Moscow’s leading criminal gangs.”

Blonde Management owner Arik Kislin’s father, Sam Kislin, is in the Russian Mob, which is big in the Balkans. Big in Montenegro.

But let’s not get too far over our skis, just yet.

Elephant in the room  

According to court documents, second officer Ivan Durasevic allegedly admitted to his role in bringing the cocaine onboard the vessel.


“Upon leaving Peru on this current voyage, he got a call from the Chief Officer to come down to the deck, at which time he saw nets on the port side stern by the ship’s crane,” the complaint said.

“Durasevic and approximately four other individuals, some of whom were wearing ski masks, assisted in the pushing of the nets toward Hold Seven or Eight of the vessel.”

“The cocaine was brought aboard the vessel as it made its way northward in open waters along the South American and Central American coasts,” read the indictment.

The court documents allege that on two ocassions while the ship was en route between stops in Chile and Panama, numerous smaller boats approached the MSC Gayane at sea to hand off large bundles of the illicit drug.


 “The MSC Gayane is the largest vessel seized in U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s 230-year history and follows the record seizure of almost 20 tons of cocaine discovered on the vessel,” said Casey Durst, CBP’s Director of Field Operations in Baltimore.

“Seizing a vessel of this size is an unusual enforcement action for CBP, but is indicative of the serious consequences associated with an alleged conspiracy by crew members and others to smuggle a record load of dangerous drugs.”

The MSC Gayane, which is twenty stories high, is one of the largest ships afloat. 20 tons of cocaine is the equivalent of three large African bush elephants. Imagine them bouncing up and down in cargo nets as the ship plows threw the ocean, before being lifted onto the deck.

It didn’t happen.

‘Privilege’ mean ‘private law’

The classical root of the word “privilege,” privus lex, means “private law.” In the US there’s a lot of that going on. 


The apparent drug kingpin is the ship’s Second Mate.

The container ship drug bust—one of the largest in history—would appear to have been worthy of one of the legendary names in the drug trade, Pablo Escobar, say, or El Chapo Guzman.

It’s reasonable to assume anyone financing a 20-ton drug move is a connoisseur of the good life. The finer things. Resort living. On the wall, Monet’s and Picasso’s.

Yet a Second Mate’s duties include: being responsible for keeping the ship, crew, and cargo safe for eight hours every day. And in port, monitoring communications, fire and security watches, and anchor or mooring lines.

That doesn’t leave much time for plying models with cocktails in South Beach. 

Already you can see the problem. But wait. It gets worse.

“Release the cocaine instead!”

The US Attorney for Philadelphia delivered himself of another of his now-famous tweets, trumpeting progress.

Screenshot (4)

In exchange for a $10 million surety bond, he announced, he was releasing the ship.

One positive development: the American people are getting hip to all the ‘Drug War’ rhetoric. The US Attorney’s announcement provoked a spasm of citizen outrage.

“Release the cocaine, instead!” pleaded one tweet.

“His action was another confirmation that the US has a two-tier justice system. One for haves, and one for have-nots,” another tweeted.

In Montenegro, citizens share the same jaundiced view of the war on drugs, which they expressed when Montenegro’s biggest drug baron named, named Darko Saric, was busted for smuggling three tons of cocaine from Uruguay inside cheese.

One wrote, “Imagine cocaine being smuggled in Pljevlja [northern Montenegrin town] cheese. Pljevlja would be a metropolis, everybody would know about us!”

kotor-mafia (1)

A Facebook fan page quickly amassed more than 500 members. Darko was hailed as a “Montenegrin Pablo Escobar.” Some expressed disappointment with police for ruining his business.

While awaiting trial Darko’s brother, Dusko Saric, kept the drugs flowing, until he himself was busted.

There’s something about Montenegro 

Remember when Trump was meeting with European leaders at a NATO summit last year and for some reason reached out, grabbed a fellow dignitary, and unceremoniously pushed him to one side? Without even acknowledging him?


Video of the incident showed that no words were spoken by the American president, No “excuse me” or “pardon me.”


The brazen snub led to speculation it had been deliberate. Being muscled out of the way by the leader of the free world is not something that happens everyday at a NATO conference.

“The Shove” got coverage everywhere. News outlets quoted author J.K. Rowling, who tweeted a video of the incident, saying “You tiny, tiny, tiny little man.”

The man Donald Trump shoved is the Prime Minister of Montenegro.

As if shoving the country’s Prime Minister at a NATO summit weren’t enough, Donald Trump described the people of Montenegro as “very aggressive” in an interview with Fox News, suggesting the tiny country could be the cause of a third world war. 

Trump made the comment on Nato’s newest member Montenegro shortly after his widely-criticised summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin, again raising suspicions that he was simply echoing views voiced by his Russian counterpart at the meeting.


“Why should my son go to Montenegro to defend it from attack?” Carlson asked, to which Trump responded “I understand what you’re saying. I’ve asked the same question.”

“Montenegro is a tiny country with very strong people … They’re very aggressive people. They may get aggressive, and congratulations, you’re in world war three,” Trump added in the interview.

Going to the mattresses

There’s a Mafia war going on in Europe. Two powerful Mafia clans with headquarters in the Montenegrin port city of Kotor went to the mattresses six years ago. An uncounted number of people—well into the hundreds— have died or disappeared.


The Skaljari and Kavac Mafia clans are fighting for control of the main ports of Montenegro, whic has become a center of cocaine transfer from Latin America.

Leading one of the clans are the Saric brothers, Darko and Dusko. Darko Saric was recently sentenced in Belgrade to 20 years in prison for the traffic of 5.7 tons of cocaine from Latin America to Western Europe. 

Kotor is a major hub for cocaine from South America. It was home to Ivan Duresevic, the alleged kingpin aboard the MSC Gayane.


The war reached Western Europe several years ago. Recently two men were found dead in the northern German state of Brandenburg. A Montenegrin mafioso was shot and killed in front of a Viennese schnitzel restaurant.

Even Montenegro’s thick prison walls offered no protection. A sniper in the hills above the prison blew away a 34-year-old drug trafficker belonging to one of the mafia clans while he was taking an evening walk in the prison yard.

Smuggling had always existed in Montenegro. State-sponsored cigarette smuggling flourished in go-fast boats which zipped across the Adriatic every night, delivering untaxed cigarettes to Italy, providing the Yugoslav state with foreign currency.

After the war in the Balkans, cigarette smuggling ended, but the even more profitable cocaine trade from South America took over.

The gangs enjoy the support of customs officers and border police. At certain times of the day —during what the Mafia clans in Kotor call “happy hours”—officials ‘look the other way,’ and the smugglers make their move.

Signs of continuity in a changing world


What’s going on? It’s a brave new world. The fruits of the marriage between globalization and organized crime are everywhere. They’re all around us.

But there are signs of continuity as well. For example, in a recent massacre recently of Montenegrin mobsters in—of all places—a suburb of Berlin.

The killers rolled up before sunrise, witnesses said, in identical white Renaults. They piled out, and, wearing hoodies—dark hooded jackets—attacked at dawn. So, not everything’s changed.

Gangsters are still wearing ‘hoodies.’

But there’s someone else close to Epstein— for whom Epstein had twenty phone numbers in his little black book— who shows the way to the people behind the big 20-ton coke move.

It’s England’s Prince Andrews.

Stay tuned.

Daniel Hopsicker is an investigative journalist and the author of two books on transnational crime, Welcome to Terrorland and Barry & the Boys.

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