Polish `mafia boss' gunned down at ski resort

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The Independent Online
A MAN believed to be one of Poland's most powerful mafia leaders was killed in a gangland murder that had the hallmarks of a professional operation, the latest in a series of such killings in Eastern Europe.

Andrzej K, thought to be the head of a crime gang operating in Warsaw, was shot twice in the head at the southern winter resort of Zakopane. Witnesses said the victim, known as Pershing, was putting his skis into a saloon car by the resort's fashionable Hotel Kasprowy when he was gunned down from a passing car on Sunday, the Polish news agency, PAP, reported. Police found the burnt-out remains of a getaway car in a nearby forest. Pershing had survived earlier attempts on his life and spent four years in jail.

Last week a 24-year-old man was killed in the Slovak capital, Bratislava, in a car-bomb explosion, and in the Croatian capital, Zagreb, recently a passer-by was killed by a rocket propelled grenade which bounced off the vehicle at which it had been fired. The murders are thought to be linked to battles between crime gangs for control of prostitution, arms, drugs and gambling rackets.