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Ndragheta becomes 'digital narcos', money circulates in cryptocurrencies with the help of Albanian gangs and the Chinese
Italy's powerful 'Ndrangheta mafia is collaborating with Albanian gangs and Chinese money brokers in a new global operation called "digital narcos".
As "The Telegraph" writes, the well-known Italian mafia 'Ndrangheta has come a long way from the days when they were thieves and thugs in the mountains of Aspromonte in Calabria in the south of Italy, until they reached a mafia organization that earns millions of euros a year. importing cocaine from South America to Europe.
"They are flexible, innovative and cosmopolitan," said General Pasquale Angelosanto, the commander of a special Carabinieri unit that fights Italy's various mafia networks. "They are now a mafia without borders."
The Ndrangheta has created new partnerships with the Albanian gangs that control the entry to the major European ports of the containers through which the cocaine is transported. Mafia bosses move money around the world with the help of unlicensed Chinese brokers who specialize in cryptocurrencies, allowing them to move money around the world quickly and anonymously.
"There is an increasingly close relationship between the Italian mafia and foreign groups, among them the Albanians, who, in addition to being agents who buy the narcotic substance in the producing countries, guarantee that tons of cocaine, hidden in containers, can pass through the ports in northern Europe" , General Angelosanto told La Repubblica newspaper.
Ndrangheta one of the most developed criminal networks
There has also been an evolution in the transfer of funds used to pay for drugs. Ndrangheta use Chinese specialists who have millions available (in different currencies) all over the world.
Mafia bosses are also adept at using "sophisticated financial instruments" as they move money around, investing drug-trafficking proceeds in legitimate businesses, from hotels and restaurants to car washes and supermarkets.
The Ndrangheta is one of the most evolved of all criminal networks – they are like a criminal company with multiple interests and have infiltrated legitimate economic sectors.
"To evade investigations, they use all the most sophisticated means, for example, encrypted telephone communications," said General Angelosanto. "They use FinTech to obtain financial services and products or use cryptocurrencies to transfer capital instantly and anonymously to any part of the planet."
Ndrangheta - fjala vjen nga një palë fjalë greke, domethënë "andros" dhe "agathos" dhe do të thotë "njeri trim" - mund të jetë jashtëzakonisht i pasur, por ata nuk janë të imunizuar ndaj bastisjeve dhe arrestimeve.
Mafia italiane në ‘lidhje’ me grupet kriminale shqiptare
Anëtarët e klanit Ndrangheta ishin të përfshirë jo vetëm në trafik droge, por edhe në pastrim parash, trafik armësh, mashtrim fiskal dhe evazion fiskal. Hetuesit kishin konstatuar se mafia italiane ishte në lidhje me grupet kriminale shqiptare që vepronin në Ekuador dhe disa vende evropiane.
Ata kishin bërë "investime masive" në Itali, si dhe në Brazil, Uruguai, Argjentinë dhe në të gjithë Evropën, tha Eurojust. Është e vështirë të vlerësosh se sa fiton "Ndrangheta" çdo vit, sepse aktivitetet e saj janë nga natyra klandestine.
An Italian research group, Eurispes, has estimated its annual turnover at around 44 billion euros.
The agency said Albanian gangs are key in the distribution of cocaine across Europe, including the United Kingdom.
Around 10 tonnes of cocaine are smuggled into Britain each year from ports such as Hamburg, Rotterdam and Antwerp. The large Albanian diaspora "often works in cooperation with Italian criminal groups" , the report states.