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The Freezer Truck Hoax
How NATO framed the Serbs

Historical and Investigative Research - 2 Dec 2005;
by Francisco Gil-White


1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5  |  6  |  7  |  8  9

7   Vitomirovic's brother was
  smuggling Kurds in freezer trucks?


In Dragan Vitomirovic's first story, which talked about a freezer truck found on its side, by the Danube, and full of bodies, nothing was said about Albanians. The explanation given was that the bodies perhaps belonged to Kurds who were being smuggled to the West across the nearby Romanian border.

Now that idea, at long last, is not an absurdity.

When people are smuggled across international borders, they are often packed together like sardines in tight quarters with little fresh air, and sometimes they must also deal with some exposure to the vehicle's exhaust (if 50 or more people were packed into the air-tight frigo-box of a freezer-truck, for example, air-quality could easily become a problem).

Since the human cargo has to stay concealed throughout, sometimes people die of asphyxiation. It is well known that this sometimes happens in the smuggling of illegal immigrants across the Mexico-US border, for example, and in such cases the smugglers may hide the trucks. But this is an urgent job, and so the trucks are typically not well concealed to avoid discovery -- they are crudely hidden or just abandoned.[1]

Which makes sense: this is not a 'cover-up,' merely a hasty solution to a smuggling attempt gone bad. 

Thus, if a truck full of dead bodies was found in the open, on its side, by the bank of the Danube, with dead bodies toppling out of its backside, and close to the Romanian border, the first and most reasonable hypothesis is not that this is an operation to cover up murders of Albanian civilians committed in Kosovo. Who would 'conceal' a massacre in Kosovo by driving the bodies all the way to the Negotin region (pretty far), just to dump it all next to a big, navigable river, in the open, where everybody can see it?

A reasonable hypothesis says that this is a case of human smuggling which ended in tragedy and was hastily abandoned, especially given that the Negotin region, were the truck was found, is right by the international border with Romania, and smack on a corridor that is known to be a human-smuggling causeway.[2]

Now, as it turns out, Dragan Vitomirovic, editor and owner of the Timocka magazine, has a brother, Slobodan Vitomirovic. This brother is -- surprise! -- a human-smuggling criminal. This was established by Slobodan Milosevic in court, at The Hague, when he was cross-examining policeman Dragan Karleusa. This Karleusa, remember, was appointed by Interior Minister Mihajlovic to head the ‘investigation’ into the freezer-truck allegations. As we saw, Mihajlovic is also the one who sent Draganm Vitomirovic to write this story about the truck in his magazine, Timocka. It's a nice little circle.

Here is what Milosevic established in court:

[Start Quotation From ICTY Transcript]

“MILOSEVIC: As a policeman who dealt with this matter of the refrigerator truck, are you aware that there are cases when our police detected the smuggling of people or illegal aliens hiding in refrigerator trucks or other trucks and which are transported by the -- via the Vidin-Sipikovo canal?

[ HIR NOTE: Vidin is in Romania, across the border from Negotin ( see map ) ]

KARLEUSA: Yes, I am aware of that.

MILOSEVIC: I will read to you just one example from a briefing of the public security office where it says -- state security office. It says: "Via the canal Vidin-Sipikovo transport is taking place. Slobodan Vitomirevic is involved in this" -- that is the brother of the author engaged in this [Timocka] crime review -- "Dejan called Zabar, and a certain Marinovic. Using  loopholes in the border crossing, and this is a well-used track, used for the transport of gold and arms, the price asked of one person is 500 Deutschmarks."  He further says that: "Three informers from Sipikovo whose names  would be notified later regularly inform the chief of police, but so far there had been no reaction." Are you aware of this?

KARLEUSA: No. I'm not aware of that. I am aware of cases of smuggling of people, but I'm not aware of this particular case.”


MILOSEVIC: And have you established the following: The author of this article from the [Timocka] Crime Review, which came as an introduction to my transport to The Hague, his brother is involved in this transport and contraband of people and forms part of a criminal group which is involved  in the contraband of people, heroin, cigarettes, vehicles, and so on and so forth. Are you aware of that?

KARLEUSA: No, I'm not. But I know that SUP Zajecar has scored successes in detecting such contraband.[4]

[End Quotation From ICTY Transcript]

Milosevic then established with documents obtained from Slobodan Aleksic, chief of state security in Zajecar (also in the Negotin region), that Dragan Vitomirovic had intervened with his police connections to prevent his brother Slobodan Vitormirovic's criminal smuggling operation from being hassled by the authorities.[5]

Milosevic’s resounding -- if a bit awkwardly translated -- conclusion was the following:

[Start Quotation From ICTY Transcript]

MILOSEVIC: What we're talking about here is a criminal group which has all the strings in its hands, including those controlling the contraband and smuggling of people, and they practically did not involve a witness who could tell them whether it was their refrigerator truck containing people who had drowned in a refrigerator truck that had toppled and fell into the river, which they later, with the help of their agents in the police and elsewhere, presented differently in a media story. Let's go on, however.[6]

[End Quotation From ICTY Transcript]

As Milosevic points out, the brothers Dragan and Slobodan Vitomirovic are partners in crime, and their group has “all the strings in its hands” precisely because of Dragan’s contacts with the State Security Service, which allows him to protect Slobodan Vitomirovic's human-smuggling gang.

But when it came time to frame Milosevic, Dragan found a new use for this kind of story, and altered key details to make it seem as though this was an attempted cover up of massacres carried out in Kosovo. As Milosevic says: "...later, with the help of their agents in the police and elsewhere, [this gang] presented [the facts] differently in a media story."

Let us now move to consider what was said in the last Timocka article, where Vitomirovic made the necessary changes (that the bodies supposedly belonged to Albanians, that it had all supposedly been declared a "state secret," and so on) in order to frame the government of Slobodan Milosevic.

ğğ Continue to part 8:

Footnotes and Further Reading

[1] “The ‘load’ vehicles themselves can be of any type of conveyance and the methods used to secrete aliens inside them are varied and often show some originality. Unfortunately, sometimes these are very dangerous to the aliens themselves. It has been reported, for example, that it is not at all unusual for an alien to die from asphyxiation while concealed in an automobile trunk or a tank car.” From: U.S. Supreme Court United States V. Ortiz, 422 U.S. 891 (1975); 422 U.S. 891; United States V. Ortiz; Certiorari To The United States Court Of Appeals For The Ninth Circuit. No. 73-2050. Argued February 18, 1975. Decided June 30, 1975.

For a specific case of such asphyxiation, read: The New York Times,  October 6, 1982, Wednesday, Late City Final Edition,  Section A; Page 12, Column 1; National Desk,  711 words,  FOUR DEAD AMONG 16 ALIENS LEFT IN TRUCK ON TEXAS ROAD,  AP,  EDINBURG, Tex., Oct. 5

[2] If you take a look at this map

and look for Negotin, you will see that it is *very* far away from Kosovo, but right next to Romania. On the Romanian side of the border you will see the town of Vidin. The Vidin-Sipikovo canal was a well known route for smuggling illegal human cargo, as Milosevic makes clear in the court transcript which is quoted in the main text. The Danube, where the freezer truck was said to be found, runs right along the border between Serbia and Romania.


[4] Court Transcript for Tuesday, 23 July 2002; pp.8408 - 8410


[5] Court Transcript for Tuesday, 23 July 2002; pp.8409 - 8411

[Start Quote From Hague Transcript]

MILOSEVIC: I will read to you again from the report of state security  offices, first about the contraband of arms. "Dragan and Slobodan  Vitomirevic at this time are in possession of the following revolvers and  pistols: Baretta 65, Browning, Walter, Skorpion, Heckler Koch, Colt Cobra  revolver, diamond-back rifle of a small calibre with a muffler, grenades.  SUP Zajecar has very precise operative information about arms, starting  from 1955 to date. All this information has been collected by Goran Tomic  together with his associates Mihajlovic and others."  And then on 8th July 2001 on border crossing Vrska Cuka, a truck  was halted - licence plates are indicated - it had a trailer driven by a  Bulgarian driver born in 1958, never mind where. He says the goods were  transported for Trnjekovo Enterprise owned by Slavisa and Suzana  Milenkovic, engaged in contraband of platinum and the importer was Aler  Cis importer, the forwarding agent was Dilertrans. When they were caught,  immediately Goran Tomic and this same Goran [Gil-White Note: Error. The name is Dragan] Vitomirevic showed up, they intervened and the truck was allowed to cross the border. All this information is in the possession of Slobodan Aleksic, chief of state security Zajecar.  Are you aware of this information about the activities of this  criminal group and was there any investigation on the part of your working  group?

KARLEUSA: Regarding our working group, there has been no investigation nor did we have this information.

MILOSEVIC: So you were not aware of this state of affairs.


[End Quote From Hague Transcript]

NOTE:  Milosevic misspoke, or the person typing made a mistake. The two names rhyme, and the name Goran had just been used, but the man in question is not Goran, but Dragan Vitormirovic, who is (1) the brother of Slobodan Vitomirovic, (2) member of the State Security Service, (3) friend of Interior Minister Mihajlovic, and (4) the man who wrote and published the articles in the Timocka magazine. So the point Milosevic makes is that Dragan Vitomirovic, in the employ of the Security Service, intervened and used his connections to help his brother, Slobodan Vitomirovic, who is a people-smuggling criminal, to carry out a smuggling operation.

[6] Court Transcript for Tuesday, 23 July 2002; pp.8411 - 8412


























































































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