ALBANIAN GANGS are reportedly exploiting a massive mafia crackdown in Italy to seize control of the country’s underworld and European drug trafficking routes.
Albanian criminal gangs have had a large presence in Italy since the 1990s, but are now reportedly expanding their power as the country cracks down on its indigenous mafia clans.
In the southern Calabria region, the biggest anti-mafia trial since the 1980s is underway with hundreds of alleged gang associates arrested. The crackdown is focused on the powerful ‘Ndrangheta group – one of Europe’s most powerful crime cartels.
The Albanian mafia already supplies Italy with an estimated 3 billion euro worth of cannabis every year, and police say that a huge portion of Class-A drugs entering Europe is trafficked across the Adriatic route.
Experts warn that gangs from Albania will see the crackdown on mafia groups as an opportunity to expand their operations and plan to become Italy’s dominant criminal force. They reportedly already exercise huge power in the underworlds of Rome and Milan and are now extending their influence in the mafia home turfs of southern Italy.
Disputes between rival Albanian gangs have led to murders and attacks across Italy as groups scramble to seize the power vacuum left by dismantled mafia clans, with a recent high profile shooting near Rome attributed to the crime wars.
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