New Indictments Expected in Habilaj–Tahiri Affair

According to confidential sources inside the Regional Anti-mafia Directorate of Catania, the investigation of drug trafficking between Sicily and Albania is moving forward at great speed and will soon see the new indictment of “a high-level Albanian.”

From the 7 Albanians and Italians arrested last month, 3 have agreed to collaborate with the Italian investigators.

In fact, the investigation itself started in 2013, but only became public in October when the 3 Albanians and 4 Italians were arrested in Catania, with 4 more persons for whom arrest warrants have been issued. One of them, Nazer Seiti, was arrested a few days later in Vlora by the Albanian police. According to several Albanian media outlets, Seiti has insisted on being extradited to Italy.

The investigation in Italy currently continues swiftly thanks to the involvement of a large number of prosecutors and judges coordinated by prosecutor Andrea Bonomo, and with the assistance of the Guardia di Finanza and Italian carabinieri. New developments are expected in the coming days, as the requests sent by the Prosecution of Catania to the Albanian authorities will become public.

The same police action, code-named “Wind Rose,” that led to the initial arrest of the 7 Albanians and Italians, has also spurred on another investigation by another team of prosecutors, leading to the arrest of 31 Italians including the head of the Santapaola mafia family Italo Tomaselli.

The same sources confirm that the shipments of drugs from Albania, transported by Albanian traffickers, furnished  several mafia families in Sicily, which all competed with each other to control the drug trade. This in turn led to several violent conflicts between the families. The risk of the situating degenerating into an all-out mafia war between the different families led the prosecutors to accelerate their investigation with the aim of preventing further victims.