Salem II at the Harwood Slipway after its occupant Dragan Vasiljkovic was taken away by Australian Federal Police.
Salem II at the Harwood Slipway after its occupant Dragan Vasiljkovic was taken away by Australian Federal Police. Daily Examiner

Accused war criminal arrested

THE international manhunt for one of Australia’s most wanted men, accused war criminal Dragan Vasiljkovic, ended with his arrest on the Clarence River at Harwood this week.

The man, who led a Serbian paramilitary unit during the Balkans War in the 1990s, was taken into custody by Australian Federal Police without a struggle on Wednesday afternoon.

Shortly before 5pm federal officers stormed the Harwood Slipway, finding the 55-year-old on a yacht undergoing repair.

Harwood Slipway general manager Gio Cervella said yesterday he was just about to close the gates for the day when police stormed the shipyard.

More than a dozen officers surrounded the 30-foot yacht Salem II, which was in dry dock, he said.

“They went straight to the yacht and called for him to come above board,” Mr Cervella said.

“He did so, he did not struggle and he was handcuffed and taken away.”

Vasiljkovic, who has lived in Australia under the alias of Daniel Snedden, was last known to have lived on a Middle Boambee property.

This week the AFP acted on information received from Holland about his whereabouts and the arrest followed four days of covert surveillance.

Belgrade-born Vasiljkovic, who is known as Captain Dragan in the Balkans, was wanted for extradition to face war crime allegations in Croatia.

He had been on the run for 43 days since a High Court ruling cleared the way for his extradition.

After his arrest, Captain Dragan was held in custody at the Coffs Harbour Police Station awaiting transportation to Sydney’s Silverwater prison.



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