Featured Albania

Enduring Italians, Ambitious Albanians – How Cocaine is Changing Europe’s Criminal Landscape

By Chris Dalby, InSight Crime, 21 September 2021 InSight Crime — Ever greater quantities of cocaine are making their way across the Atlantic and are being sold at ever greater prices across Europe. A new Europol report reveals how this has changed the way organized crime operates… Read More

Gang exploits Irish “weak link” to smuggle migrants to Britain

The gardai have uncovered a network of human traffickers involved in smuggling migrants from the Balkans into Britain via Ireland to fill low-paid jobs in the black economy. The operation is being led by the Garda National Bureau of Immigration (GNIB) in conjunction with Britain’s Border Force. Read More

Balkan Gangs Supervise Cocaine Trade from Colombia and Across Europe

By Alessandro Ford, InSight Crime, 17 August 2021 InSight Crime — A cell within a notorious Montenegrin cocaine trafficking group has been dismantled on Spain’s Canary Islands, demonstrating how Balkan drug smugglers may be utilizing Latin American connections to re-position themselves within European markets. Four members of… Read More
21st July 2021
Seven people have been arrested in an operation that police think may have “significantly disrupted” a people smuggling network which moved hundreds of Albanian migrants to the UK illegally. The National Crime Agency (NCA) said the network’s alleged ringleader was among those who were detained in a series of raids… Read More
15th July 2021
AP — A former Albanian deputy interior minister has been arrested on corruption accusations, authorities said Tuesday. A statement from the Special Structure Against Corruption and Organized Crime said Rovena Voda, deputy interior minister from 2017 until 2020, was put under house arrest over allegations she… Read More
4th July 2021
There are two ways of interpreting the fact that the annual recorded seizures of cocaine in Europe have been hitting all-time highs every year for the last three years. The record-breaking hauls may, on the one hand, be taken as evidence that better surveillance and tighter international co-operation are helping… Read More
1st July 2021
By Cecilia Anesi, Margherita Bettoni and Giulio Rubino, OCCRP, 30 June 2021 OCCRP — On an October evening in 2018, as Sebastiano Giorgi and a Romanian associate skipped and swayed at a fancy Stuttgart nightspot, they were blissfully unaware that their every move was being eyed… Read More
9th June 2021
By Lindita Çela and Ushinor Majumdar, OCCRP, 8 June 2021 OCCRP — On a mild afternoon in March 2019, one of India’s most ostentatiously wealthy families prepared to board their private jet at Albania’s Tirana International Airport. The Sandesaras had been on the run since 2017, when… Read More
9th June 2021
The United States is “modernizing” its sanctions policy in the Western Balkans by further targeting corruption, human rights abuses, and acts that threaten democracy in the region, the State Department said. “The United States recognizes that corruption threatens economic equity, global anti-poverty and development efforts, and democracy itself,” Secretary… Read More
1st June 2021
Albania’s Inspector of Justice on Monday ordered an investigation into Enkeleda Kapedani, the chief judge on the Elbasan Circuit in central Albania, after several videos of her posing in designer clothing were published by a TikTok account. One video shows Kapedani, 37, posing in her office while another shows her… Read More
27th May 2021
Albania has failed to significantly improve measures to combat money laundering and terrorist financing in line with the recommendations set down by the FATF. This is according to MONEYVAL, the Council of Europe unit that deals with financial crime and its prevention in the Member States. Following an assessment made… Read More
24th May 2021
On May 12th, prosecutors in North Macedonia charged Nikola Gruevski, the country’s former prime minister, with money-laundering. It is alleged that he funnelled cash donated to his party through Belize to buy property illegally and conceal its ownership. He says the case is politically motivated. Meanwhile in Jahorina, a popular… Read More
20th May 2021
AP — The United States on Wednesday sanctioned former Albanian Prime Minister Sali Berisha for alleged “significant corruption” and barred him and his wife and children from entering the U.S. Berisha, 76, who also served as Albania’s president from 1992 to 1997, is currently a lawmaker representing… Read More