|Territory||European Union, Albania, Kosovo, Balkans, Macedonia, Greece, Belgium, Scandinavia, Netherlands, Turkey, Middle East, United States, United Kingdom, Germany, France, Australia, .|
|Criminal activities||Arms trafficking, arson, Assault, counterfeiting, Drug trafficking, Extortion, Fraud, Human trafficking, illegal gambling, Kidnapping, Murder, prostitution, Racketeering, Theft.|
|Allies||Russian Mafia, Italian Mafia, various criminal organizations.|
Albanian mafiaEdit Block
The Albanian Mafia (AM) or Albanian Organized Crime (AOC) are the general terms used[by whom?] for criminal organisations based in Albania or composed of ethnic Albanians. Albanian organised crime is active in Albania, the United States and the European Union (EU) countries, participating in a diverse range of criminal enterprises including drug and arms trafficking. it is said that Albania has 15 families or clans that control organised crime
Law enforcement officials, both in the United States and throughout Western Europe, are still trying to determine whether or not the Albanians are indeed, organised.
Rudaj OrganizationEdit Block
The most famous Albanian criminal organization was the Rudaj Organization. In October 2004, the FBI arrested 22 men who worked for it. This included its leader Alex Rudaj, and effectively ended the gang. They had entered in the territory of Lucchese crime family in Astoria, Queens, New York, and are said to have even beaten up two made men in the Lucchese family. The name Rudaj comes from the boss of the organization. According to The New York Times published on January 2006, "Beginning in the 1990s, the Corporation, led by a man named Alex Rudaj, established ties with established organized crime figures including members of the Gambino crime family, the authorities say. Then, through negotiations or in armed showdowns, the Albanians struck out on their own, daring to battle the Lucchese and Gambino families for territory in Queens, the Bronx and Westchester County, prosecutors say."
International activityEdit Block
According to the Belgian police department specialized for Albanian organized crime, Albanian mafia clans dominate, leading in the illegal trade, including human trafficking and the sale of cocaine and heroin.
Belgium is regarded as one of the most important countries for human traffickers, being the last port before entry into Great Britain, and considered as the "El Dorado of illegal immigration".
It is estimated that up to 100,000 illegal immigrants have been transferred to Belgium by Albanians, while some observers warn that this number represents the illegal immigrants in Brussels alone.
Albanians in the Netherlands have recently[when?] been involved in robbery and murder cases. A recent[when?] case was that of Durim Gremaj, who was searched by the Dutch police.
The Albanian mafia is one of the most dominant and notorious criminal organisations in Norway. Their activities range from drug trafficking, prostitution, human trafficking, weapons trafficking and assassination.
Albanian mafia clans in Norway, Sweden, and Denmark are suspected of being involved in arms smuggling, prostitution, heroin smuggling and armed robberies such as the $10 million heist in the famous NOKAS (Norsk kontant service AS) robbery in 4. April, 2004.
"The ethnic Albanian mafia is very powerful and extremely violent," said Kim Kliver, chief investigator for organized crime with the Danish National Police. "If you compare them to the Italian Mafia, the Albanians are stronger and not afraid of killing." Law enforcement authorities[which?] estimate that even a small Albanian gang may smuggle as much as 440 pounds of heroin a year into Scandinavia.
"On the streets where the Italian Mob once ruled, a new syndicate was taking over, run by tough, ambitious Albanian immigrants, who still clump to a code of silence." - “We’re still trying to learn about their culture and figure out what makes them tick,” James Farley, FBI supervisory special agent, and expert on organized crime, says of the Albanians. “They’re difficult to infiltrate.” “We’re just now catching up with Albanian organized crime,” he says. While Italian gangsters may be three or four generations removed from the old country, the Albanians grew up under brutal communist regimes, engaging in protracted blood feuds with rival clans, and subscribing to a strict code of silence that makes the Italian credo of omertà seem playful. “The first generation Albanians have a tendency to be more violent” than American-born syndicates, claims Hall.
In the United States, Albanian gangs started to be active in the mid-80s, mostly participating in low-level crimes such as burglaries and robberies. Later, they would become affiliated with Cosa Nostra crime families before eventually growing strong enough to operate their own organizations under the Iliazi family name. Albanian organized crime has created new and unique problems for law-enforcement officers around the country, even threatening to displace La Cosa Nostra (LCN) families as kingpins of U.S. crime, according to FBI officials.
Speaking anonymously for Philadelphia's City Paper a member of the "Kielbasa Posse", an ethnic Polish mob group, declared in 2002 that Poles are willing to do business with "just about anybody. Dominicans. Blacks. Italians. Asian street gangs. Russians. But they won't go near the Albanian mob. The Albanians are too violent and too unpredictable." The Polish mob has told its associates that the Albanians are like the early Sicilian Mafia -- clannish, secretive, hypersensitive to any kind of insult and too quick to use violence for the sake of vengeance.
The Rudaj Organization, also called "The Corporation", was a well known Albanian criminal organization operating in the New York City metro area.
The Albanians are targeting affluent central and northern areas like Lombardy, Piedmont and Tuscany. Along with the Kosovo mafia and the Chinese Triads, they all works under the control of Italian Mafia. One of Italy's top prosecutors, Cataldo Motta, who has identified Albania's most dangerous mobsters, says they are a threat to Western society.
"The Albanian Mafia seems to have established good working relationships with the Italian Mafia". "On the 27th of July 1999 police in Durres (Albania), with Italian assistance arrested one of the godfathers of the "Sacra Corona Unita", Puglia’s Italian Mafia. This Albanian link seems to confirm that the Sacra Corona Unita have "officially" accepted Albanian organized crime as a "partner" in Puglia/Italy and delegated several criminal activities". Thus, in many areas of Italy, the market for cannabis, prostitution and smuggling is run mainly by Albanians. Links to Calabria’s Mafia, the "Ndrangheta", exist in Northern Italy. Several key figures of the Albanian Mafia seem to reside frequently in the Calabrian towns of Perugia, Africo, Plati and Bovalino (Italy), fiefs of the Ndrangheta. Southern Albanian groups also have good relationships with Sicily’s Cosa Nostra
"The Albanian criminals were special from the beginning," said Francesca Marcelli, an organized-crime investigator for the Italian government. "When they started appearing here in 1993, they were much different than other immigrants. They have strong motivations and are very violent."
Albanian mafia gangs are believed to be largely behind sex trafficking, immigrants smuggling, as well as working with Turkish gangs in Southend-On-Sea, who control the heroin trade in the United Kingdom.Vice squad officers estimate that "Albanians now control more than 75 per cent of the country’s brothels and their operations in London’s Soho alone are worth more than £15 million a year." They are said to be present in every big city in Britain as well as many smaller ones including Telford and Lancaster, after having fought off rival criminals in turf wars. Albanian gangs are present in the city of Chester, and are believed to run the city's many brothels. The Albanians are thoguht to have links with criminal organisations in Chester.
Albanian gangsters were also involved in the largest cash robbery in British crime history, the £53 million (about US$92.5 million at the time of the robbery) Securitas heist in 2006.
"Ethnic Albanians" (as the German police officially calls them), no matter where they come from - Albania, Macedonia or Kosovo - created for a very short time in the last decade of the century, a very powerful criminal network, says Manfred Quedzuweit, director of the Police Department for Fighting the Organized Crime in Hamburg.Here, it could be heard that they are even more dangerous than Cosa Nostra. Albanian "banks" in Germany are a special story. They are used for the transfer of money from Germany which amounts to a billion of D-marks a year. One of these banks was discovered by accident by the Düsseldorf police when they were checking a travel agency "Eulinda" owned by the Albanians. We haven't found a single catalogue or brochure for travelling at the agency, computers were not operating, nor the printer has been ever used. We found that "Eulinda" was a coverup for some other business, said high criminal counselor from Düsseldorf Rainer Bruckert. Eventually we found out that "Eulinda" had already transferred 150 million dollars to Kosovo - for "humanitarian purposes", says Bruckert. Money has been transferred by the couriers in special waist belts with many pockets. So, in a single one way trip, they can carry up to six million D-marks.
Godfather of an Albanian Mafia family 'Daut Kadriovski' gained attention of Australian Authorities after creating a drug pipeline through Albanian and Croatian communities in Sydney and Brisbane.
In popular cultureEdit Block
- An Albanian criminal organization in Paris is responsible for the kidnapping of Liam Neeson's character's daughter in Taken.
- Le Chiffre is the main villain of the 2006 James Bond film, Casino Royale, portrayed by Danish actor Mads Mikkelsen. Believed by MI6 to be Albanian, Le Chiffre is banker to the world's terrorist organizations
- In the French movie The Nest the plot centers around an Albanian mob boss in police custody being escorted to the Hague.
- Albanian mobsters Rexho and Luan feature in the Danish crime film Pusher III.
- Dossier K, a Belgian crime thriller, portrays the Albanian mafia in Belgium.
- In "We Own the Night" A final drug transaction is made with the Albanian Mafia.
- In the movie "In With Thieves" directed by Sid Kali, portrays a blood diamond deal gone wrong which throws Albanian Mafioso into chaos in the criminal underworld.
- In the "Law and Order: Criminal Intent" episode "Blasters" (Season 6, Episode 9) two former childstars involved in bootlegging ring are being hunted down by the Albanian mob.
- The story arc "The Slavers" of the adult-oriented Marvel comic The Punisher: Frank Castle deals with Albanian criminals engaged in human trafficking..
- In the American TV show "No Ordinary Family" episode "No-Ordinary Mobster" deals with the main character attempting to stop violent Albanian Mobsters.
- Top Gear, a British car show, featured an episode (comedy) in which they tested three luxury automakers ;Rolls-Royce Ghost, Mercedes-Benz S-Class and Bentley Mulsanne, to see which would be best suitable for Albanian Mafia bosses.
- The videogame Grand Theft Auto IV features the "Petrela gang" a small crew of Albanian shylocks and goods smugglers. The only known members are Dardan Petrela, Kalem Vulaj and Bledar Morina. Later in the game, Albanian gangs appear working as muscle for other organizations, such as the Cosa Nostra or the Bratva. In Liberty City the Albanian mob holds a stronghold in the Little Bay section of Bohan.
- In the video game Socom 2 your first mission is to capture several kingpins in Albania.
- Crime Invasion:Britain New underwold - episode Albania
See alsoEdit Block
- Alex Rudaj
- Princ Dobroshi
Some of the content on this page has been provided by the following page on Wikipedia.org: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Albanian_mafia