Thousands of Foreign Gangsters Awarded British and EU Citizenship

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Thousands of foreign gangsters being monitored as organised crime syndicate members have been awarded British citizenship, figures suggest.

Data obtained by The Times shows the National Crime Agency are monitoring 2,083 gangsters, human traffickers, and drug dealers linked to organised crime syndicates who have British citizenship but were born abroad.

Comparing figures for birth nationality and current nationality for the gangsters, the newspaper found that a large number of dangerous criminals from Pakistan, Somalia, India, Poland, and Kosovo, in particular, appear to have acquired British or EU nationality.

New Home Secretary Sajid Javid has the power to deprive such individuals of their British citizenship — as predecessors have done or have attempted to do in a small number of cases related to terrorism and child sexual exploitation — raising questions about why his department appears to be turning a blind eye to the situation.

With all EU nationals currently in the United Kingdom — or who arrive in it before the end of the mooted Brexit ‘transition period ‘ in December 2021 — being eligible for permanent ‘settled status’, the news also raises questions about whether Theresa May should seek powers to deport EU criminals in her negotiations with Brussels.

The revelations follow news earlier this month that the Albanian mafia is carving out an increasingly powerful niche in the British drugs scene, managing the import of large quantities of high-purity cocaine which is refined for sale as street crack.

Their growth has been credited to a combination of lax border controls, international links to South American cartels, and a particularly impressive capacity for violence — with police in London uncovering weapons including Skorpion sub-machine guns in their possession, despite laws severely restricting legal ownership of firearms.

Pakistani gangsters are also particularly well-represented on the organised crime scene, managing imports of heroin produced in Afghanistan to British ports.

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