Albania: the real story

elena spectra at
Sun Aug 8 13:56:31 PDT 1999

In Der Spiegel Bonn, 8 August, 1999 -

"Ethnic Albanians" (as the German police officially calls them), no matter where

they come from - Albania, Macedonia or Kosovo - created for a very short time in

the last decade of the century, a very powerful criminal network, says Manfred

Quedzuweit, director of the Police Department for Fighting the Organized Crime in

Hamburg. Here, it could be heard that they are even more dangerous than Cosa


The network is spreading from the Balkans over the eastern Europe, becomes very

dense in Greece and Italy, more dense in Switzerland and Germany, and stretches

even to Scandinavia. Some branches of this criminal Albanian network even reach

Spain, Portugal and the Great Britain, and even more - the United States.

It has never happened in the history that such a small ethnic group shows so much

criminal energy in such a short time, the Spiegel comments.

In the last couple of years, the Albanians literally invaded the West as they found

the best place for their illegal business there. In the Great Britain, for example,

there were only 30 Albanians living there ten years ago. Now, there are over 30,000

Albanians living in Britain, a thousand times more!

There are about 400,000 Albanians in Germany, 200,000 in Switzerland, 100,000 in

Italy and even 25,000 in small Belgium.

Tribal, patriarchal establishment among the Albanians is one of the most important

factors of successful creating the network of the criminal clans. Everybody knows

everybody, everyone is controlled where he goes and what he does. Nobody can

escape the long hand of Mafia, says Manfred Quedzuweit.

The members of the family form the core of a clan (in this case about 60 members

of the Albanian family), writes the Spiegel. The average of another 150 relatives are

tied to them, as well as their neighbours and friends, sometimes a whole village is

a clan. Such a system is ideal for introducing into an organized criminal network,

writes the Hamburg weekly.

The ethnologist of the University in Berlin Stephanie Schwandner-Sievers says

those are the relics of an archaic tribal society, which she and her colleagues call

"immoral familiarity".

In Germany, the Albanians have completely took over the market of heroin as they

banished, in a spectacular fight five years ago, the Turks and Kurds. For a short

time, says Manfred Quedzuweit, they covered the market of prostitution where they

launch young Albanian girls of 16 and 17 years.

"Washing" of illegal money, armed robberies and stealing of jewelry and money

from private houses, and organized transportation of white slaves and desperate

ones who seek their chance for life in the West, is only a part in their long list of

illegal businesses in Germany.

Albanian "banks" in Germany are a special story. They are used for the transfer of

money from Germany which amounts to a billion of D-marks a year. One of these

banks was discovered by accident by the Dusseldorf police when they were

checking a travel agency "Eulinda" owned by the Albanians.

We haven't found a single catalogue or brochure for travelling at the agency,

computers were not operating, nor the printer has been ever used. We found that

"Eulinda" was a coverup for some other business, said high criminal counselor from

Dusseldorf Rainer Bruckert.

Eventually we found out that "Eulinda" had already transferred 150 million dollars to

Kosovo - for "humanitarian purposes", says Bruckert. Money has been transferred

by the couriers in special waist belts with many pockets. So, in a single one way

trip, they can carry up to six million D-marks. We have proofs, says Bruckert, that

the money has been transferred under the cover of political parties and

humanitarian aid and through fictitious companies, to Kosovo for the purpose of

financing the war which KLA is conducting there.

Police has lots of difficulties to catch any of those criminals and put them in jail,

mostly because people are scared too much to testify, fearing for their own lives

and the lives of their families, says Manfred Quedzuweit, who asserts that this fear

is without any ground since police has many ways to protect the witnesses.

Even the suspects do not feel like talking. The chances to find out anything at the

hearing are equal to zero, says Josef Geissdoerfer, director of the Department for

Fighting Crime in Munich, adding that brutality in violence and silence is the main

power of the Albanian Mafia. ----

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