Report: Albania was Italy’s main cannabis supplier in 2017

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times July 13, 2018 10:10

Report: Albania was Italy’s main cannabis supplier in 2017

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  • The Italian anti-drug report notes that "Albanian clans have shown that they have growing management skills in the cultivation and trafficking of marijuana.”

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TIRANA, July 11 – A report by Italy’s Central Directorate for Anti-Drug Services published this week said Albania was the country of origin of the majority of marijuana destined for Italian and European markets in 2017.

“Marijuana imports in Italy have increased significantly, reaching in 2017 a seizure record of over 90 tons, in comparison to the 41 tons in 2016,” the annual report says, adding that “Italy’s confiscation trends are related to marijuana cultivation in Albania.”

The report also mentions that 2017 marked the case of “the biggest confiscation that has ever taken place, in the Marches region, equal to eight tons of marijuana that were destined for Northern Europe.”

The Italian anti-drug report estimates that “in addition, Albanian clans have shown that they have growing management skills in the cultivation and trafficking of marijuana.”

According to the document, they use high-productivity plants and ever-diversifying methods of hiding, cultivating and transporting them to the Italian coast.

Given the size of the traffic, according to the Report, “Albanian crime groups compete with other criminal organizations for controlling parts of trafficking routes that arrive in Italy, as well as for the management of drug distribution networks.”

Based on the report’s data, Albanians rank first in the foreign drug trafficking networks involved in criminal activities, with 25 out of 94 networks in total. Following Albanians, come second and third networks from Gambia and Morocco.

The report estimates the 94 drug trafficking cases reported in 2017 are the highest in the last decade, while the lowest value was recorded in 2011, with 49 cases.

The report also estimates that “drug trafficking routes leading to Italian state borders remained unchanged. Most confiscated drugs, approximately 95%, were seized off the coastline, territorial waters, and across sea borders.”

Border areas related to marijuana trafficking also mark the highest number of arrested Albanians, with 41 out of 93 foreigners detained at the Italian border with marijuana shipments during 2017.

Albanian criminal groups, however, have not limited their activity to marijuana trafficking.

The report also raises the concern that “along with the ‘Ndrangheta’ in Calabria, which thanks to a network of complex international ties still has a key role in cocaine trafficking in Italy, in 2017, some harsh groups of foreign crime also came to light, consisting of Moroccan, Nigerian and Albanian nationals. In particular, the latter, as evidence of a qualitative hop on their operational capabilities, compete with other criminal groups for the control of traffic segments in Italy and the management of distribution networks in the national territory of major narcotic substances.”

According to the figures published in the report, Albanian citizens come second in the number of foreigners arrested for trafficking and distribution of cocaine, with about 1,100 arrested people. Out of 14,000 foreigners involved in drug offenses in Italy during 2017, out of which more than 10,000 have been arrested, approximately 2,000 people were Albanian.

Finally, the report also points at the extent of the activity  of Albanian groups in Europe, as they “are ranked among the most active in terms of operational opportunities, starting from control capabilities at the embarking stage and withdrawal of supply in the Dutch and Belgian ports, used for importing cocaine into Europe.

 

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times July 13, 2018 10:10