How the Albanian mafia corrupted Europe

In May 2000, a French newspaper published an article declaring that ‘the Albanian mafia is corrupting Europe’. Le Parisien It was featured in an official Interpol document describing a ‘perfectly organized’ crime syndicate that has sprung from Albania and its arms to the west. The main pillars of this union, which has strong ties to the Italian and Turkish mafia, were drugs, prostitution, arms smuggling and illegal immigration.

In the Interpol report, 40 percent of the heroin traffickers arrested in Austria last year are Albanian and Le Parisien He reminded his readers that prostitution networks in the cities of Nice, Toulouse, Strasbourg, Metz and Nancy were run by the Albanian mafia.

A month after the newspaper report, a book was published in France. Albanian Mafia – a threat to Europe. It was a disturbing depiction of a criminal enterprise that ‘would hold great respect among Sicily’s powerful mafia families’.

While the 1990s was not a good decade for the Sicilian mafia, which was brutally pursued by the Italian authorities after the murder of two high-ranking judges in 1992, it was a profitable time for Albanian criminals because of the war in Kosovo. A member of the American diplomatic contingent in Kosovo told the authors of the book that the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) gave the mafia “political legitimacy” in exchange for money and contraband.

This helped the Albanian mafia expand its scope, thereby controlling more than 70 percent of the heroin market in Austria, Germany and the Scandinavian countries by 2000, pimping thousands of prostitutes across Europe, and orchestrating high-paying thefts that often took place. by ex-cops or KLA veterans. “In France, the problem is still in its infancy, but its development is imminent,” the authors warned.

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The problem really matured over the next two decades, accelerating in 2010 when the European Council approved visa-free travel to the EU for Albanian citizens, a year after the country applied to join the bloc.

The Albanians soon turned west, first to Germany and then to Berlin when they began to reject their demands. en masse, to France. In 2017, 7,630 asylum applications were filed in France – a 66 percent increase from 2016 – prompting then Interior Minister Gérard Collomb to visit Tirana in December of that year to persuade the Albanian government to strengthen their control in the region. people leaving the country.

His diplomatic breakthrough proved futile. Asylum applications rose to 8,261 in 2018, of which only 6.5 percent were successful (55% of Albanian applications in the UK). By now the French government has figured out who was behind the immigration, and a report by the Ministry of Justice in the fall of 2018 highlighted the role played by the mafia.

The main industries of the mafia were theft, drugs and migrant smuggling. Some examples are given in the report. Between November 2017 and October 2018, five Albanians committed 98 thefts in 11 regions of France, resulting in a total of 423,000 euros.

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Meanwhile, the drug trade was based in cities in eastern France. Business was booming in France, and the police were working hard to crack down on the well-organized heroin and cocaine networks run by Albanians.

Meanwhile, the French Ministry of Justice has described illegal immigration as a thriving branch of the Albanian mafia. In 2018, the French broke up 18 Albanian smuggling networks and arrested 83, but despite their efforts, the mafia continued to smuggle people from Asia and the Middle East to Europe, “especially Great Britain”.

Most of the smuggling at the time was in trucks, but as the British and French authorities tightened security at the Channel ports, Albanians began looking for alternatives. Why not boats from the far coastline?

The first passes were made in the fall of 2018; At first it was only a few hundred people, but once the mob realized how easy it was and how good the British authorities were to those who disembarked – largely due to Theresa May’s 2015 Modern Slavery Act – a fleet of ships began to pass through. Channel.

This point was made last week by Secret Channel Threat Commander Dan O’Mahoney to the Home Affairs Election Committee: ‘The rise has been exponential and we think it is mainly due to the fact that Albanian criminal gangs have won. It’s a pillar in the north of France,” he explained.

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1,843 migrants in 2019, 8,466 in 2020, 39,430 this year made the crossing by the end of October. Among this number there are 12,000 Albanians, of whom 10,000 are single, most of them men between the ages of 18 and 35.

They built a thriving trading empire on the Continent and now want to do the same in England. They are already well on their way. aspect Sun Albanians managed to ‘almost completely take over the UK’s £5bn cocaine industry’, reported in 2019.

Lawmaker David Davis said in a newspaper column this week that in the last two years, police in the Humberside constituency have carried out “six operations targeting Albanian-linked groups suspected of crimes ranging from drug offenses to fraud”. Davis believes the crisis should be handled at the source in Albania.

If their government refuses to cooperate, the EU should re-examine Albania’s candidacy because le Parisian He was right in 2000: the Albanian mafia is corrupting Europe. Maybe it already has.

How the Albanian mafia corrupted Europe first appeared in The Spectator.


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