The wide-spread drug trafficking by Albanian criminals in the Netherlands is out of control. The police and the prosecution advise the Dutch government to reintroduce the visa regime for Albanians.
This will allow them to better control the situation, because criminals no longer can enter the country unnoticed. “That can be a dam against gangs,” says prosecutor Jeroen van Berkel.
The Albanian criminals have evolved from errand boys for other criminal groups to the leaders of the drug trade from South America to deep into the European continent. They use Rotterdam and Amsterdam as distribution centers.
These are the content of an alarming internal memo of the police, obtained by De Telegraaf. According to criminal investigators the nature and size of the problem are rapidly becoming worse. Besides trafficking of drugs and people there are also serious crimes involved: at the registration center for usual financial transactions, many of the transfers have been classified as “state secret.”
The report from early August shows that the “incidental” arrest of a wanted top criminal last week on the highway is not a rare event. The Netherlands are a hub in the criminal activities of the thugs from Albania, which is by the way also a candidate member of the EU. Visa requirements were abolished in 2010.
The police units of Amsterdam and Rotterdam ring the alarm because they suspect that Albanians are busy taking up strategic positions in the hospitality industry, commerce, and real estate. “We don’t want to find out in a few years: oh, they own the entire central boulevard of Amsterdam,” a chief investigator states.
Crime is rapidly rising. In 2016, the number of Albanian criminals doubled compared to the previous year. Only in Amsterdam, 36 police investigations were started aimed at Albanian speakers. The police estimates that there more or less 6 times more Albanians entering the Netherlands than are officially registered. That’s because tourist are allowed to travel freely in the Schengen zone. “When there is a visa requirement we can monitor who enters the country,” Van Berkel states. The government would do well to look into this.
The Ministry of Security and Justice cannot yet issue a response, as the report has not yet been officially delivered.
Previously published in De Telegraaf.