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Albanian Gangsters Linked to South American Cartels Taking Over British Drug Scene

Albanian
DIMITAR DILKOFF/AFP/Getty Images

Albanian gangsters linked to South American cartels are taking over the illegal drugs scene in Britain, increasing their presence in the high-quality cocaine trade by nearly 60 per cent in three years.

Groups like the ‘Hellbanianz’, based in East London, are monopolising the supply of cocaine used to make street crack, The Times reports.

“The Albanian impact has affected a number of cities,” admitted Merseyside chief constable Andy Cook.

“The Balkan-region criminality is layered on top of other criminality from our homegrown criminals. The increase in cocaine and crack will be a driver [for violence],” he added.

“The challenge is even greater with Balkan countries because we don’t necessarily have the links in. It’s harder to infiltrate their communities through covert means. They are close-knit, but there have been notable successes.”

The Albanian mafia’s rapid growth has been credited to both lax border controls and its members’ international links and capacity for extreme violence, with British police uncovering weapons including Skorpion sub-machine guns in their possession in London.

A ‘league table’ last year of some 33,598 gangsters by origin found Albanians had risen from 8th-most prevalent to 3rd-most prevalent in just three years.

The Times was at pains to point out that gangsters are still over  70 per cent British-born and 60 per cent “white northern European”, while “only” 13 per cent are black — but it should be noted that not even 1 per cent of the general population is Albanian, and only 3 per cent of the general population is black.

Asians are also significantly overrepresented, making up 16 per cent of gangsters compared to 7 per cent of the general population.

The report cited by The Times notes Pakistanis were the second-most prevalent nationality among gangsters after indigenous whites, and records large rises in Iraqi and Chinese gang activity as well.

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