Albanian prosecutors are looking into potential crimes flowing from the activity in Albania of suspected members of the Italian mafia group ‘Ndrangheta, and potential connections to public officials.
The Organized Crime Prosecution Office (SPAK) announced on Thursday that they are investigating potential crimes of corruption of public officials, operation of a structured criminal group, and money laundering.
The preliminary investigation was launched on 25 January, after media publications in Italy and Albania on an investigation by Italian prosecutors into the notorious ‘Ndrangheta mafia group’s activity.
About 50 members of the mafia group were arrested in Italy on January 18, of which 7 were Albanians.
According to publications, the Italian prosecution’s investigation showed mafia attempts to launder money in Albania through public projects and construction.
The Albanian prosecution announced on January 24 that it was mulling to launch an investigation into the case, and since then has exchanged information with Italian prosecutors.
Prime Minister Edi Rama rejected media allegations of connections between his administration and the mafia, arguing that the published excerpts of wiretaps and interceptions only seemed to show mafia attempts to engage in criminal activity in Albania but failed to show that they had succeeded.
The Italian Ambassador later criticized the “useless polemics” appearing in the media, and supported investigations by the prosecutions. He then warned of important developments coming regarding the ‘Ndrangheta case.