With raids in 14 buildings and the arrest of 7 suspects, the Amsterdam criminal investigation department concluded an intensive, one-and-a-half-year-long investigation of a large branch of an Albanian criminal organization.
They worked in close collaboration with the Italian authorities, who are following many more Albanians.
Around 100 Albanian criminals were monitored during the investigation in Amsterdam. During the raids three firearms, a hand grenade, dozens of kilos of cocaine, and a lot of marijuana were found.
The Albanians are known to offer excellent quality cocaine against good prices. They are violent against any competitors.
While packages of 500–1000 kg of cocaine circulate in Italy, the Amsterdam investigators mainly found smaller amounts of 30–40 kg.
The now dismantles “Amsterdam group” operated very precisely and had constructed hidden compartments in houses and cars to hide money and drugs, some of which were outfitted with hydraulic, magnetic, or electrical systems.
In the UK, the Albanians dominate half of the cocaine market; they rule entire shopping streets and have invested their drug profits into real estate and the hospitality industry. The investigators and prosecution in the Netherlands the same will happen there.
The group that was active in the Amsterdam region imported cocaine, mainly from Ecuador, through the harbors of Rotterdam, Antwerp, Hamburg, and Bremen, distributing it across Western Europe and the UK.
Members of the dismantled organization mainly resided in luxury apartments with in-door garages, which they could enter without raising suspicion. Rent was paid in cash and homes were acquired with mortgages received using fake documentation.
The suspects spoke in code about “breads,” meaning kilos of cocaine. They also used encrypted Blackberries for internal communication and were aware of police investigations.
That Albania, which the Justice Department considers thoroughly corrupt, wants to enter the European Union has become a concern for investigators, the tax office, and the municipality.
Police and the Justice Department argue for a reinstatement of Schengen visa for Albanians. Albanian criminals regularly marry Romanian prostitutes to acquire a legal status throughout Western Europe.
Hand grenade and buckets of weed
The SWAT teams woke up 7 suspects in Amsterdam and the surrounding areas, and in a storehouse in Rotterdam.
On the Amsteldijk and in the Pijp neighborhood, investigators and military personnel specialized in searching hidden spaces raided car tire shop Aroba, often visited by the main suspect – as well as many other Amsterdam criminals.
The Bomb Squad of the Ministry of Defense dismantled a hand grenade, while 7 buckets of weed and several pre-made joints were found. They also found equipment to “sweep” cars (to check for police tracking devices).
In Rotterdam, police units uncovered a storehouse guarded by two Albanians, hiding dozens of kilos of cocaine.
First published by Het Parool, translated by Exit.