Serbian boxer "falls" in Peru over 2 tons of cocaine: Sentenced to 17 years, still on the run
Cufaj, who is known as the main liaison between Peruvian drug clans and European buyers of narcotics, has been sentenced to 17 years in prison
David Cufaj, 27, a Serbian citizen arrested in Peru in 2017 on suspicion of being a member of a group that was smuggling two tons of cocaine, was sentenced yesterday to 17 years in prison for this crime.
Cufaj was sentenced in absentia, given that he was released at the end of 2017 pending the end of the trial - and has since disappeared.
Cufaj is charged with financing a shipment of two tons of cocaine from Peru to Belgium. The drugs were hidden in asparagus cans. The shipment was discovered on January 11, 2017, and two days later Cufaj and his associates "fell."
After the hearing, it was decided to to allow him to remain free during the trial, which he used to escape. A warrant for his arrest is in force.
At the time of the arrest, Cufaj was identified by the local media as the main liaison between Peruvian drug clans and European buyers of narcotics.
The head of the group was Jose Carlos Ullon Rojas, 41, who has also arrested, and who had friendly relations with Cufaj and hired him for this job worth millions.
Rojas was a significant player in the local market, headng an international smuggling group for at least two years. In addition to being a liaison with Europe, Cufaj, the media said, was also the group's chief financier.
It is assumed that David was in the end just a channel through which other, more powerful figures from the crime world invested their money in the drug trade.
Born in Kosovo, lived in Sarajevo
Cufaj was born in Kosovo but grew up in Sarajevo. He graduated from the High School of Hospitality and Tourism and practiced boxing. A few years ago, he stopped playing sports and moved abroad, to the Netherlands and from there to Peru where he was accredited to work for a mining company.
Judge under the magnifying glass of internal control
Since Cufaj disappeared without a trace after being released, internal control turned its attention on the judge who allowed his release. Namely, the prosecution had insisted on detention because they believed Cufaj had ties to the main leaders of the international network of narcotics smugglers, who are in prison. However, the judge took into consideration Cufaj's work and family ties in Peru, and based his decision to release him from custody on that.
During the trial, Cufaj also showed his contract of employment, by which he "proved" that he would work as an assistant coach at the club Bolivar after his release. The Peruvian media, despite their attempts, however, failed to contact anyone at this club to confirm Cufaj's work intentions. After that, no one even managed to trace Cufaj.
He charmed an ex-miss?
Cufaja was also in the past linked with former Miss Peru Camila Canicoba. Their photos together appeared last March, but the former miss claimed all along that "someone was framing her" and that she had nothing to do with Cufaj.