David Whittle on Wed, 7 Jul 1999 10:24:08 +0100

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Syndicate: Marko

That mention of Marko in Greece rang a bell.  I'm beginning to like this
guy more and more...


Playboy son begins to feel the heat

Family affair: Milosevic home town bombed

By Maggie O'Kane in Belgrade

Friday April 30, 1999

In an effort to bring the war closer to home to Milosevic, Nato has turned its
attentions on Pozarevac. It is here in this small town 40 miles east of
Belgrade that the Milosevics have their family home.

It was also here that for the first time in the five-week campaign that Nato
came to bomb yesterday, firing missiles into a building near the railway
station shortly before dawn. News of the bombing will have particular
bearing on President Milosevic's son, Marko, who owns and runs several
commercial properties in the town including the Madona discotheque,
reputed to be the Balkans' biggest.

But nobody knows whether he was in the town at the time of the bombing,
because his whereabouts have been a matter of doubt for some time. As
graffiti writers in Belgrade have noted with rare rebellious humour: 'Slobo,
where is Marko now, is he in Kosovo?' That's a question that Nato would like
answered too.

Marko Milosevic is, in a way, too easy a target. His antics make good fodder
for the general denomination of the Milosevic name: he did not do his
military service; he is blond, brash, rich and in his mid twenties. He owns
the biggest night club in Serbia and he lives in a new mansion in Pozarevac,
reconstructed last year on the site of his mother's home.

For years he made headlines because of his habit of crashing expensive
racing cars and then annoying the locals when fleets of his brash friends
arrived from Belgrade for weekend discos at Madona.

But these days, Marko has adopted a more sombre approach to life. This week
he was featured prominently in Politka newspaper, the mouthpiece of the
government, in a police uniform, with his wife Mirjana and their
four-month-old son Marko. The message, that everyone is out there fighting
the 'fascist imperialists of Nato' - even Marko.

Marko Milosevic's money comes from his string of duty free shops that
straddle the borders of Yugoslavia and offer a lucrative income. At the
Hungarian border post, the shops called Tref are named after a tough police
friend who was murdered last year in Belgrade. But it hasn't always been an
easy ride for Marko.

He recently complained in an interview that it was tough being the son of
Slobodan Milosevic. 'I've been isolated since I was 13. All my life I have been
the subject of gossip, Every girl that was with me, I suspected it was not for
love. From time to time someone wants to kill me.'

The Serbian press have always been cautious of how they reported his
activities but occasionally he makes himself impossible to ignore. Eighteen
months ago, the weekly news magazine Nin, followed by several other
newspapers, reported an incident in the Kostolac Rock Cafe, when a mildly
handicapped boy made the mistake of staring at the president's son.

According to witnesses, Marko Milosevic produced his Heckler and Koch
pistol and asked the young man: 'How many bullets do you think this gun can
put in your head?'

But in recent months Marko Milosevic has been so quiet that Belgrade is
speculating that he may be in Greece or Cyprus. Three days after Nato began
pounding Serbia, he was spotted in Athens purchasing two luxury speedboats
which he had ordered several months previously.

He has spent most of the past six years living on and off in the Greek capital
where his father is said to own several luxury villas and has a 22-ton
pleasure boat, Ten-Ten, permanently moored in Pireaus. Milosevic's
acquisition of other properties - he owns prime development land on Crete
and a holiday home on Corfu, briefly the capital of Serbia during the first
world war - has sparked speculation that he could be preparing Greece as a
possible bolt-hole. Several leading members of the Serbian regime,
including prime minister Milan Miluntinovic, who was ambassador to
Athens until January 1998, own homes there.

Miluntinovic and the wanted war criminal, Arkan, educate their children at
international schools in Greece.

Marko Milosevic is said to run several of his import-export companies,
dealing in cigarettes and duty free goods, out of Athens - where he has also
bought most of his racing cars and has frequently participated in the
Acropolis rally (a race he has never won).

A Greek businessman, who refused to be named, said he signed a contract
with Marko three days after the bombing campaign began to build a
recreation theme park called Bambiland - to be based on Disneyland - in
Pozarevac, his father's birthplace.

Most of his business ventures are in Pozarevac, through which he is thought
to launder money. 'He's the de facto leader of Pozarevac,' a former
Belgrade-based Greek diplomat said. 'He uses his father's authority to do
whatever he likes there. His name has been linked to circles that launder
money. He is the classical case of the spoilt brat.

'He went to the best schools in Yugolavia... he's grown up never being denied

The Greek businessman, who admitted being in daily contact with Marko,
said the leader's son had been particularly hurt by accusations that he had
dodged the army and was now serving in it.

'We speak to each other on e-mail every day. He doesn't want to use his
mobile telephone because he doesn't want to be traced,' he said.


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