The British media continue to have the activities of the Albanian criminal gangs in the narcotics market at the center of attention - to argue the factors that have increased crime in the country.
This time, 'The Guardian' has dedicated an article to the 'Albanian mafia', where it explains in detail how young people from the Balkan country became the kings of cocaine in London.
"They are sophisticated and intelligent. ”- reads the opening sentence of the article.
The cocaine market in the UK is estimated at around 5 billion pounds a year. In the course of the text, it is also underlined how the Albanian mafia has reached the levels of the Italian Ndrangheta, which controls the most important European ports such as Rotterdam and Antwerp.
The Hellbanianz (as the Albanian band is called) are known for their violence and for the shows published on their social profiles, where they show off rolex and ferrari that help to attract new recruits.
The loads of cocaine arrive in the ports along the Thames, coming from Latin America. But how did the Albanians manage to conquer the cocaine market in the UK? A real lesson in the field of crime: friendship with the most dangerous mafias in the world and absolute violence.
They started with a simple business model, but brave enough to overthrow the pre-existing order. For years, international cocaine importers have worked separately from wholesalers and their bands. Prices varied depending on the purity of the drug: the higher it was, the more it cost.
The Hellbanianz overthrew this model by starting to deal directly with the Colombian cartels and thus controlling the production of cocaine. Thus they were able to lower prices and increase product quality.
While the Dutch bands sold at around 22.000 pounds per kilo, in fact, the Albanians - dealing directly with the cartels - were able to sell at around 5.000 pounds per kilo.
All the rival gangs, which had a lower and more expensive product, therefore found themselves having to buy cocaine from the Albanian mafia.
The collaboration with the 'Ndrangheta'
However, for the Albanian model to really work, control of European ports was necessary. For this reason, the Albanian mafia had to cooperate with the 'Ndrangheta, which controls the continental cocaine trade in Europe.
"There is a strong mafia connection between Italians and Albanians: the Albanians are working with them, not in competition with them. ”- said Tony Saggers, former National Crime Agency intelligence chief.
Rotterdam and Antwerp are the main European ports, where many of the employees work for 'Ndrangheta and the Albanian mafia.
"This allows the Albanians direct access and control of cocaine in ports. You need the best people to get out of the port. If you are good at it, then you are ahead of your competitors. And the Albanians are good at this. ”- continues Saggers.
Another aspect that distinguishes the Albanian bands is that they do not create conflicts with other gangs but they know how to develop collaborations with them. Not surprisingly, in fact, Liverpool is the only city in England that is not controlled by the Albanian gangs, since its criminal gangs do not want to share power.
The new young generation of the 'Hellbanianz' then started making music videos where it flaunts its riches and is clicked millions and millions of times. Also for this reason, to date, recruiting new teenagers for the band has never been easier.
- The original article published in The Guardian
- The Economist: The myth of the "Albanian mafia"
- Albanian drug crime is now a European problem
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