From: Exit Staff
Criminal Groups Earn €11 Million by Trafficking Migrants through Albania

Traffickers earned €11.5 million in 2020 by trafficking migrants from the Middle East through Albania and into European countries.

Illegal profits go up to €29 million when Western Balkans is considered, according to the latest report by Global Initiative Against Transnational Organized Crime.

About 12 thousand illegal immigrants were caught in Albania in 2020. 

Their trafficking is organized by small criminal groups who focus on managing different parts of the journey. Some facilitate border crossing for migrants, others manage their crossing through the country, and some groups specialize in selling “migrant packages” – they connect migrants with travel agencies that organize travels from Greece to Albania and to other European countries.

Migrants pay €70 to be transported from the Albanian border to Tirana. Crossing from the Albanian northern city of Kukes to Kosovo’s Prizren costs them €200.

The total cost for migrants to be trafficked from Greece to Albania and then to Italy varies from €3,000 to €5,000.

Albania turned into a major transit country for migrants starting from 2017 when Hungary and North Macedonia tightened border control. The country has three main border entry points with Greece: Kakavia, Kapshtica and Qafe Bota.

Migrants do not stay in Albania but use the country only as a transit route to other European countries. They travel from south to north, and cross into Montenegro or Kosovo, or use the sea route to get from Albania to Italy.


Adopted for publication from Exit’s Editor in Chief Neritan Sejamini’s show “In a Few Words” on Euronews Albania.