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Interview Rajko Caušević, leader of Pink Panther | Info

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Interview Rajko Caušević, leader of Pink Panther |  Info

Rajko Caušević, from Cetinje, became a world-class thief from a juvenile prison in Spuž, spent 20 years behind bars, and calls himself the leader of the Pink Panther.

Source: MONDO/Nenad Milošević

Rajko Caušević, born in Cetinje, at the age of 16 came into conflict with the police by throwing explosives in front of their building, which is why he ended up in the notorious Spuz. The minor was taught crime here, he was in prison, badly beaten, and after his release, he and several friends began to engage in petty crime, first in Italy, and later on targeting European metropolises. In an interview with Mondo, Rajko says that he is a world thief, a rebel bigger than Che Guevara, heaven and hell are behind him and he is happy that he is still alive. He currently lives in Belgrade, where he plans to publish his book.

I was born in Cetinje, I still declare that I am Montenegrin, I am not Montenegrin by origin, but I am Montenegrin. Mine are from Čevo, if you’ve ever heard of ‘Čevo’s plain, and the heroic nest, and the bloody human slaughterhouse, how many armies did you remember’… Without going on, I want to tell you something about myself. I have four wives, six children that I found and collected, nine buildings, houses, apartments, all of which I gave to the children and their mothers. I am very proud that I have never said a bad word about any woman I have been with. I always say that it’s my fault, I’m to blame for everything, at the end of my book I wrote, I put ‘For everything that happened to me, I blame myself’. I allowed all this to myself, because I hung out with some politicians who didn’t deserve it, because I had some friends who didn’t deserve it. A lot of people advise me in Montenegro…’Forget what happened. I don’t want to forget, because if I forget, then it will happen again,” Rajko begins his story.

After a long series of years, which he spent robbing “over” he collected 20 years in prison. He served prison terms in Italy, Luxembourg, France, Austria, Spain, the Netherlands, and Germany. As he says, he was very lucky for so many years spent in prison, and they should have given him 100 years in prison. He says that he learned to be a man and have his own character, to be respected by others and to respect others, to be very strong psycho-physically even when he has no living conditions. Rajko has been living in Belgrade for four months, and spends his days in the casino and cafes. Money is not important to him, because as he says, he himself is a money factory:

If it comes to me now, I’m going to make a wild passport, turn off the phone, I’m gone, I’m gone. I’m going to go abroad, I’m going to ‘break’ a jewelry store there and I’m going to bring 200,000-300,000 euros.

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“I don’t do anything here, I gamble, I have friends who help me. I had a luxurious life, I didn’t know how to spend money, I was a millionaire several times, that money ruined my life. I live when I have money, everyone around me has , I built houses, estates… I’m not a billionaire, I live normally, I’m happy that I can move freely around the city. I go to cafes, casinos, that’s my luck, that I can look everyone in the eye, that there won’t be those who tell me, ‘you sold me’, ‘you set me up’, ‘you stole me’, ‘you stole my wife’…” he says.

“I haven’t done anything all my life”

“Out of pain, I started robbing. I left Spuž, it was a difficult life for a young man, who was beaten, harassed, provoked, knocked unconscious by beatings, sometimes I can’t understand that I survived all that. I threw dynamite at the court and the police because of my brother, they beat my brother, I take it and throw dynamite in front of the court, it was in 1974, Tito was still alive, it was a terrible mess. I was 16 years old then, when I ended up in prison, they should have helped then, to teach me a trade in prison, so that when I go out into the street, I have something to do… When I got out of prison, I couldn’t find a job. My father took me to Skopje to serve in the army, I served in the army for 3-4 months, then I left. That’s when I started with my friends on the “chan”, first I went to Italy to smuggle jeans in order to survive. My father and mother were divorced, I lived with my mother and stepfather”

Rajko says that he is not the leader of an organized criminal gang, but the man who first started it, who motivated people to such a work system. He did not have a boss under whose orders he worked, and he gathered brave and capable young men from Croatia, Serbia, Macedonia and the entire Balkans.

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“It’s a terrible life, you start from a shack, then robbing apartments, then luxury boutiques and stores, then I worked as an actor (among the Pink Panthers known as a grab-and-run action), for which I ended up in prison in Germany in 1979. That meant that I enter a jewelry store, say “guten tag”, grab it and run away. I get on a bicycle or a motorbike and I’m gone. Then “sover” one of the most complicated thefts, very few people will do that, to come to your place tonight while you are alone or with your family, to steal from you.

I worked mainly with guys from our area. They already have everything prepared for the robbery, since I live there, I have been preparing the ground for months, I go around, it is a complicated process that sometimes lasts for months. It is not very easy, you come, steal and leave, the preparation sometimes takes several days, and for more serious thefts, even 4 months. I have to collect all possible information, who is the boss, who locks the store, who is the boss, who opens the store in the morning,” says Rajko, calling himself a vagabond, who wanders the city looking for valuable loot.

The most valuable theft of the bible

“I’m asking for it to be as valuable as possible, because it’s the same punishment, he stole millions, or 100,000. It’s that flash theft, no one was hurt, there’s no hatred, there’s no violence, that’s why we’re special. The most valuable thing I stole was the Bible, I’m particularly proud of that, I stole it from a museum. It happened in Austria, that bible is priceless, it’s the size of a fingernail, I took it to a holy place. A friend of mine in Vienna, a Serb by origin, told me: I’ll give you a jaguar, I’ll give you an omega, a gold watch, a chain and another 200,000 shillings, but you have to take the bible'”

Source: MONDO/Uroš Arsić/Stefan Stojanović

“I see in the museum it is protected by armored glass, they have cameras, alarms, the guards are there. It can only be stolen in the middle of the day, to be covered by two or three, for me to just go up and take it. And that’s how it was. It’s important to me theft, how spectacularly it was done. I took two young men covering me, they distracted the guards. I unlocked it, put my hand in and just took it. I put the bible in my pocket and went out. I did it so easily, I’m proud to that spectacular theft of one of the most valuable things ever,” Rajko recalls one of the thefts he was most proud of.

The sponge was the worst

“It was the worst for me in Spuz, they knocked me unconscious five times, it ruined my life, I didn’t finish the army. At that time, if you were in prison, you didn’t finish the army, you couldn’t find a job, you couldn’t get married, such people are automatically marginalized, and in fact such people should be protected, they are very important for the whole society, because they are capable.

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It was difficult for me in Europe because they beat me, I resisted there. I fight with prisoners whenever, if he is wrong, if I can’t beat him, I will stick a fork in his eye, do a couple of months for it, and be done with it.

“I looked at everything, I didn’t let the prisoners approach me at all, we southerners don’t give in, many in the prisons wanted to hang out with us, because they felt safe that way. The guards respected me, they gave me cigarettes. Passing by we are bad, because we didn’t kill anyone, we weren’t Al Qaeda, they called us the Pink Panthers to sentence us to many years in prison. I brought 2 million marks in cash here to the airport, and I kept it around my legs tied with tape. Everyone is equally divided, because everyone is at the same risk in a robbery, and if something happens, we are obliged to help each other.

Source: MONDO/Nenad Milošević

Pink Panther Rules

“You must be a good and faithful friend, that you are not made of money, that you are not extremely politically oriented, that you love your family, that you lower yourself to the level of an ordinary worker. Skills require a ‘hammer’, a brain, you have to train every day, to learn languages, to be able to communicate with people, to learn a trade,” says Rajko and answers the eternal mystery of whether the Pink Panthers really exist:

Pink Panthers exist, they are extremely brave, honest people, both men and women, there is no membership, we recognize among ourselves who is worth how much, we are ready at any moment to rise up anywhere, and to help each other anywhere”

Wrote a book

“It is important for me to publish my book in Belgrade, in Cyrillic out of spite for the proud world, that’s why I came to Belgrade. I wanted to publish it in Montenegro, but the fact that they made a disaster out of my people there, I don’t I want to have nothing. I want to be a Serb, I am a bigger Serb than many Serbs, I want to start it here,” said Rajko honestly.

After many years in prison, thefts that marked his life, Caušević honestly says that he is not done with criminal acts yet:

I’m not done with stealing, why should I, if I need it again, I’ll go, but I certainly won’t here. I will certainly not go to Serbia and Montenegro, only if I need something for the country, for my people“, Rajko concluded his confession for MONDO with these words.


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