Armed Albanian gangsters have seized control of Britain's drug market and are filling prisons so fast that the government is sending some of them home before serving their sentences to avoid a shortage of prison space.
Gangs from the Balkan state now 'exercise considerable control' over the supply of cocaine, a United Nations report reveals, with violent criminals importing the drug from their counterparts in mainland Europe through ports in south-east England.
Meanwhile, a judge warned that cannabis farms run by Albanian criminal networks have reached 'epidemic levels' and, in his opinion, 'become something of an industry'. Aided by alliances with South American drug cartels, these brutal gangsters are consolidating their grip using a combination of fear and deadly violence - while taking to social media to share photos of drugs, guns and cash. ready
It recently emerged that 80 Albanian immigrants were sentenced to a total of 130 years in prison during the first four months of the year. Their crimes included murder, rape, use of firearms and kidnapping. The scale of the crime wave is putting pressure on the UK's already overcrowded prisons, as the government was forced to strike a deal with Tirana to allow criminals to be deported before the end of their sentences.
However, some young Albanians are sneaking into the UK and joining drug gangs with the aim of being sent to prison so they can claim to be victims of modern slavery and gain asylum, as it recently revealed mail Online.
The UK cocaine market is said to be worth £2bn with around 976,000 users, while the annual number of cocaine-related deaths has risen sevenfold in a decade to now stand at 840.
Research by the National Crime Agency has shown that Albanian organized crime groups control the cocaine market in all major cities and suburban areas of the United Kingdom (with the exception of Merseyside, where local gangsters remain in charge).
One of the most notorious Albanian gangs is The Hellbanianz, who are based in East London. They are believed to be responsible for trafficking millions of pounds of drugs into the UK every year and openly boast about their criminal activities with rap videos on social media.
Albanian crime lords are known for sending "clean hands" with no criminal record to the UK to join organized gangs. This means that checks on arrivals via the English Channel are failing to detect links between them and organized crime groups.
The root of the Albanian organized crime problem goes back to the Kosovo war of 1998 and 1999, according to a senior official in the NCA's European Home Office. This resulted in 'a considerable number' of Albanians going to Britain.
About 140,000 Albanians live in Great Britain, the vast majority of whom - as the Prime Minister of the country Edi Rama has emphasized - "work hard, pay taxes" and do not find themselves on the wrong side of the law.
But the threat posed by the criminal minority is undisputed and has only grown following the arrival last year of more than 12,000 Albanians in small boats - a 'significant number' of whom work in drug gangs, the National Security Agency has said. Crime (NCA).