Saturday , October 1 2022

Olivier Serkovich, from basketball to a universal criminal


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Daughter of a good family, an excellent student, a European basketball star and sports director of the Red Star in Belgrade. She is a member of the criminal band Pink Panthers, a prisoner, a fugitive and finally a writer and a painter.

All this was Olivier Syracovich, 49 years old and 193 cm.

The mother of an older son, who spent several years in prison, is now one of the stars of the current "Interliber" book fair in Zagreb, where she presented her autobiography "Yu, Pink Panther"

"My book is a protest against injustice and social hypocrisy in the world," Efe Cirkovic said.

The breeding ground that led to the crime was the breakup of Yugoslavia in the 1990s.

So in certain circles in Belgrade there were people who made a lot of easy and quick money with illegal activity, such as smuggling or buying and selling stolen goods.

"We live in years of war, violence, kitsch and rudeness, fake idols and people who got rich in the war and presented themselves as patriots," he recalls.

But in his criminal career, "there has never been violence," he says, so Interpol allowed the band the nickname "Pink Panthers" for the comedy "La Pantra Rossa."

He was sentenced to Greece, where more times he participated in the robbery, by crimes of organized crime, serious robbery and fucking looting.

"In 80 percent of my actions, a car broke into a jewelry store through the window, when no one was there," he recalls.

The Pink Panthers, a network of criminals from several Balkan countries, are linked to thefts in 35 countries where they stole jewelry and luxury goods for $ 500 million in the past two years and then sold on the black market.

Syrkowitz says that in reality there is no Pink Panthers organization as such, but separate bands that operate in a similar manner and only cooperate with each other.

"I had a group with my people, but we did not report any commander," he explains in an interview at the Zagreb fair.

They planned their actions perfectly, they hit accuracy and extreme speed, says Syrkovik.

The Greek judge attributed numerous robberies in jewelry in Athens and the islands of Rhodes and Santorini, worth several million euros.

"No jewelry owner has ever been hurt, they defend the real value three or four times and continue to charge in a month," he says.

"The only casualty – and for them they are very small sums – are the insurance agencies or the banks, which I consider to be lawbreakers," he adds.

In her youth Olivera was a basketball player in the Wozdowak clubs and in the Red Star in Serbia, and in Bosnia, too, Dienstvo Tuzla, then European champion.

In the 2002/03 season – shortly before entering the Pink Panthers – she was the sports director of the Red Star in Belgrade.

He spent more than seven years in jail in Greece, longing for his son, now a basketball player, but without falling into depression, programming "every moment" of his time behind bars with exercises, readings, writing and his great passion for painting.

In 2012 he escaped dramatically from the Koridalo prison in Athens, and went through the main door after a collaborator left an unconscious guard.

A few months later she was arrested by the police, imprisoned again and served the remainder of her sentence, to return to Serbia in August 2017.

As soon as the criminal's life has risen, Olivier sees that their history is an excellent basis for cinema.

"I have material not for one but for a whole series of films, but Hollywood," he concludes with a laugh.

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