GANGLAND UK: Albanian crime gangs take over cocaine trade in every city except 'too tough' Liverpool


ALBANIAN crime gangs pose a "significant threat" to British national security after taking over the cocaine trade in every British city and suburban area apart from Merseyside, the National Crime Agency (NCA) has warned.

A top NCA officer warned that Albanian criminals had become so powerful in the UK since arriving over the past 25 years that they had used fear and intimidation to dominate British crime networks and those from other nationalities in the supply of Cocaine.

London and Manchester have already fallen, and only hardened British-born gangs in Liverpool and the surrounding areas have been strong enough to retain a tight grip on the drugs trade in the face of the gradual takeover.

Albanian social media gangsters the Hellbanianz, who regularly post images of drugs, guns, cash, expensive watches and sports cars on Instagram and Facebook have often bragged they "control London" alongside the images.

The shocking admission was made in a statement from the NCA to a hearing of the Special Immigration Appeals Commission (SIAC).

An alleged Albanian crime kingpin, who was based in London, and has only been identified as B9, was appealing a Home Office decision to revoke his residency card.

The NCA Operations Manager of the Internal Far Europe Desk, referred to only as LM in the published open judgement for the case, wrote the statement on behalf of the agency.

The judgement said: "Research by the NCA has shown, according to LM, that Albanian organised crime controls the cocaine market across the main city and suburban areas of the UK, with the exception of Merseyside.

"The control is mainly down to threats and intimidation.

LM said the takeover was down to a new generation of Albanian criminals in the UK, who were prepared to use kidnap and torture to push rival drug suppliers from an area.

The judgement added: "Although the older generation of Albanian organised crimianls had until recently been reluctant to cary out any violent form of retribution, kidnap and torture in the UK, the younger generation of Albanian criminals is starting to lose the reluctance of the older genertion to do anything that woukd bring them to the attention of law enforcement agencies, and, consequently there are now said to be increasing numbers of murders being investigated in Albania and the wider Balkans in northern Europe, which are being attributed to members of Albanian crime groups.

"LM's statement concludes by saying that the threat from Albanian organised crime is viewed as a significant national threat to the UK, and that over the last two years ``Albanians have become the

LETHAL: Handgun found in a raid on a London home this week - two Albanians were charged (NCA)

largest number of foreign national offenders within the UK prison system.

"Those arrested adhere to a code of silence with family members back in Albania being taken care of.

"On release Albanian ex-prisoners are welcomed back into their crime group fraternity, generally reintroduced into criminal activity."

The NCA did not respond to questions about why Liverpool-based crime groups had been able to fend off the takeover.

A retired Met Police DS, who specialised in organised crime intelligence and posts online under the pseudonym Frank Matthews, said: "I'm only guessing from my experiences of Liverpool as a frequent visitor and having worked covertly there.

"The criminal fraternity are mad and tight knit, so would take some knocking off their pedestal.

"I’d say the Albanians are waiting until they have the UK totally sewn up before they make a move on the Scousers.

"There’s going to be shootings for sure. As the NCA quote says the younger one’s don’t care about bringing attention to themselves so when they take the helm look out!"

B9 is an Albanian national born in 1984 who was given a British residence card in 2012 after he married a Latvian woman.

But, the Home Office revoked it in September 2019, despite him having no recent serious convictions, due to fears over his links to organised crime and his capability of "extreme violence."

He appealed the decision from Albania.

The Home Office said if he were allowed to remain in the UK there would be a serious risk he would remain a central facilitating figure for the importation and distribution of drugs.

The judgement said he was charged with the stabbing of a Bulgarian nightclub bouncer in Seven Sisters which happened in October 2012, but the charges were dropped after the victim was allegedly too afraid to continue with the prosecution and also "paid off" by B9.

SEIZED: 80kgs of cocaine found in a London raid this week - two Albanian men were charged (Met Police)

A Home Office statement to the appeal said B9 "carried out large-scale importation of drugs in the UK.

It listed more than ten named criminal associates he was linked to.

The Home Office said he was a senior member of a crime gang also involved in cannabis factories within the UK and people smuggling into the country.

Its submissions added that he drove top-of-the-range vehicles hired from a drug dealer’s car rental business and enjoyed the high life, despite having “almost no financial footprint in the UK” and only limited earnings from a London loft company.

Photos of B9 with weapons including a gun stored in his belt, a Kalashnikov, and an Israeli pistol, were found on his phone during a border check at Dover and a bundle of 65,000 Euros with this DNA on it was found in a secret compartment of a car driven by an associate after it was stopped by border guards at Coquelles in France.

B9 denied any criminal activity and argued he should be allowed to keep his residency, saying he just knew the named criminals socially.

The Special Immigration Appeals Commission rejected his application, after accepting the National Crime Agency’s evidence that he is an organised crime boss.

Chris Farrimond, the NCA deputy director of investigations, said: “We believe this individual was a high ranking member of a significant organised crime group involved in a range of serious criminality that was impacting upon the UK.

“This assessment was made following a thorough investigation and was upheld by the court judgment. The NCA is determined to use all the tools at our disposal to protect the public from serious and organised crime.”