PHILADELPHIA — U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) Philadelphia removed a former soldier of the Republika Serbian Krajina who failed to disclose his role in the ethnically motivated murder of a Croatian couple during the war in the former Yugoslavia on Tuesday, following an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and ICE's Human Rights Violators and War Crimes Center (HRVWC).
Slobodan Mutic, 54, is wanted by Croatian authorities for aggravated murder. He was ordered removed on Oct. 23, 2017, by a federal immigration judge based on his criminal conviction. On Jan. 6, 2016, Slobodan was sentenced to two years in prison, for knowingly and willingly possessing a Form I-94, arrival/departure record, knowing it to have been procured by means of any false claim or statement, or to have been otherwise procured by fraud and unlawfully obtained.
Mutic, a former soldier of the now-defunct rogue state Republika Serbian Krajina, falsely claimed that he had never “been arrested, cited, charged, indicted, fined or imprisoned for breaking any law or ordinance,” nor had he “ever engaged in any genocide, otherwise ordered, incited, assisted or otherwise participated in the killing of any person because of race, religion, nationality, ethnic origin or political opinion.”
During a Sept. 6, 2012 interview, Mutic admitted that in 1992, he had been arrested and questioned about the murder of Stjepan and Paula Cindric. Mutic and his accomplice Dragan Perencevic targeted the Cindrics because of their ethnicity. Mutic is also wanted for other crimes in Croatia, including the murder of Aleksandra Zivkovic.
Today, ERO officers turned him over to Croatian authorities without incident.
The HRVWCC was established in 2009 to further ICE’s efforts to identify, locate and prosecute human rights abusers in the United States, including those who are known or suspected to have participated in persecution, war crimes, genocide, torture, extrajudicial killings, female genital mutilation and the use or recruitment of child soldiers. The HRVWCC leverages the expertise of a select group of agents, lawyers, intelligence and research specialists, historians and analysts who direct the agency’s broader enforcement efforts against these offenders.
Since 2003, ICE has arrested more than 395 individuals for human rights-related violations of the law under various criminal and/or immigration statutes. During that same period, ICE obtained deportation orders against and physically removed 835 known or suspected human rights violators from the United States. Additionally, ICE has facilitated the departure of an additional 112 such individuals from the United States.
Currently, HSI has more than 130 active investigations into suspected human rights violators and is pursuing more than 1,750 leads and removals cases involving suspected human rights violators from 95 different countries. Since 2003, the Human Rights Violators and War Crimes Center has issued more than 74,000 lookouts for individuals from more than 110 countries and stopped over 234 human rights violators and war crimes suspects from entering the U.S.
Members of the public who have information about foreign nationals suspected of engaging in human rights abuses or war crimes are urged to call the ICE tip line at: 1-866-DHS-2423 (1-866-347-2423). Callers may remain anonymous.