EU police arrests more than 60 in series of operations against Albanian mafia

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times April 7, 2019 11:25

EU police arrests more than 60 in series of operations against Albanian mafia

Story Highlights

  • The operation was supported by Europol, while the suspects are believed to have been illegally producing and trafficking drugs, with links to trafficking in human beings, prostitution and money laundering.

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TIRANA, April 7 –  A simultaneous operation between April 3-5, carried out in Belgium, France, the Netherlands and Italy and which saw the involvement of some 600 law enforcement officers, led to the arrest of 64 members of an Albanian-speaking organized crime network.

The operation was supported by Europol, while the suspects are believed to have been illegally producing and trafficking drugs, with links to trafficking in human beings, prostitution and money laundering.

This sting follows a complex investigation looking into the activities of this organised crime group operating in all above-mentioned countries simultaneously and some of the suspects are believed to have been managing at least a dozen cannabis plantations distributed across Belgium and in the north of France.

Some of the same suspects were also involved in a case of trafficking of human beings in France.

55 individuals were arrested in Belgium, including the leaders of the OGG, seven in the Netherlands and an additional two in France in this investigation led by the Belgian Federal Police, in cooperation with the French National Gendarmerie, the Dutch National Police, the Italian Anti-Mafia Investigation Directorate and the British Metropolitan Police.

Europol reported that it supported the operation from the outset by facilitating the exchange of information.

On the action day, six Europol experts were deployed on-the-spot in Belgium, France and the Netherlands to allow for the real-time exchange of information, as well as providing technical support when dismantling the drugs production sites as well as forensic support, extracting 14 mobile devices seized.

To this day, this operation has resulted in 39 premises searches, the dismantlement of 15 indoor cannabis plantations and seizure of 8255 cannabis plants, around 100.000 euros in cash and gold, four luxury vehicles, 63 electronic devises.

Albanian organised crime continues to remain a concern for countries across Europe, a threat which Europol reports it takes very seriously.

Back in March, experts on Albanian speaking organised crime convened at Europol’s headquarters in The Hague to discuss ways to better tackle these poly-criminal violent mafia-type clans. Further operations of this type are expected to take place in the near future as law enforcement ramps its response to this criminality.

 

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times April 7, 2019 11:25