Even though Minister of Interior Affairs Fatmir Xhafaj declares war on organized crime once every two months, the country has transformed into a gang war arena. The police has proven itself unable to control criminal gangs and, so far, has not solved any of the mafia assassinations that have taken place lately. Cities like Shkodra, Vlora, Durrës, and Elbasan are now controlled entirely by organized crime. However, the government has limited its actions against organized crime to only a few propaganda statements. So, whenever gang wars led to numerous victims, Minister Xhafaj meets with police structures and declares war on gangs.
In December 2017, a few months after the still unsolved incident that took place between the Elbasan police and the Çapja family, Minister Xhafaj declared:
The Çapjas cannot come to symbolize such a value-rich city as Elbasan. They, and their associates, will get the punishment they deserve.
A few months later, in April 2018, Minister Xhafaj, once again, declared war on gangs, stating that:
We have records of all the criminal groups in Albania, as well as the ones that operate overseas.
We are actively trying to punish these criminal groups, to bring them to justice.
They must have one thing clear: the police will make their lives hell, so that their criminal activities come to light and be brought to justice.
We will make your lives miserable! Here [in Elbasan] there are two or three criminal gangs we are well aware of and we are working to document their activities in order to, very soon, prosecute them before the law.
Minsiter Xhafaj spoke in the same way earlier this week, in response to the consecutive crimes that took place in the past few days in Shkodra.
Speaking from the parliament pulpit, Minister Xhafaj stated:
We are engaged in an intensive war against criminal groups. We have done a full review, we have clear profiles, of criminal groups that weren’t established yesterday, but who have been operating intensively for years.
During September and October, as a result of all the evidence we have gathered and our intensive work, we are sure that a significant part of these criminal groups will take hits. We will continue fighting these criminal groups uncompromisingly.
Like former Minister of Interior Affairs Saimir Tahiri, Minister Xhafaj and high police officials, too, refuse to be held personally responsible, even in the face of the country’s current situation. In the last few months, several serious crimes and clashes between gangs have taken place, putting into question, particularly, the abilities of the Ministry of Interior Affairs.