Criminals declared wanted by Albanian justice and EUROPOL choose England as hiding place, names revealed

Albanian fugitives are hiding in the UK in the same way British crooks once were on the Costa del Sol, experts have warned amid a rise in extradition cases.

Scores of suspected murderers, rapists and drug dealers across Europe have appeared before Britain’s extradition court after it was discovered they were living in the UK. At least 34 wanted Albanians have faced extradition proceedings in 2023. This year, at least 27 suspected Albanian criminals have appeared at Westminster Magistrates’ Court to be extradited for crimes committed in countries including France , Italy, Germany and Greece.

Experts say fugitives use people smuggling routes to cross the Channel and are then protected by Albanian criminal syndicates. A former director of the National Crime Agency (NCA) says the UK has become a safe haven for wanted Albanians in the same way the Costa del Sol was for British fugitives. Among the fugitives found in Britain is Denis Havalja, nicknamed “The Beast”, for the rape of a 14-year-old girl in Albania in 2016.

Denis Havalja

The 37-year-old was convicted in Albania and sentenced to five years and four months in prison, but escaped and fled to Britain after serving less than two years. Whether he returns to serve the remainder of his sentence will be decided by a judge on June 18.

Suspected double murderer Ilirian Zeqaj, 51, faces extradition for a second time from Britain after infiltrating the UK twice and even obtaining citizenship under a false name.

Zeqaj allegedly shot dead two men in the village of Cakran in 1999, but arrived in the UK after getting into the back of a truck five months later and claimed asylum under the name Klemend Zeqaj after lying to the authorities and posing as a Kosovar refugee. Despite being one of Albania’s most wanted fugitives, he was granted permanent leave to remain in 2005 and British citizenship the following year.

He has three children, including a daughter who studies chemical engineering at Cambridge University, but the Albanian Supreme Court has demanded his return. The fate of Black, who lives in Hanwell, northwest London, is in the hands of the Home Secretary after a county judge approved his extradition in April. Zeqaj, who runs a bathroom fitting company, plans to appeal the decision to the Supreme Court.

Illyrian Zecaj

In its article, the Daily Mail also cited an expression by Ervin Karamuço, according to which “Britain has become a ‘Costa del Sol.’

“Tirana State University criminology professor Ervin Karamuco said Britain has become the ‘Costa del Sol’ for Albanian refugees, due to the criminal networks that already exist here,” writes the Daily Mail.

Among those already extradited to an EU country is Algert Datja, 33, who was returned to Italy in April to face charges of murder, grievous bodily harm and armed robbery.

His compatriot Alfred Krrashi, 21, will be returned to France for alleged drug trafficking after his extradition was approved in April.

Former head of drug threat and intelligence at the NCA Tony Saggers said many Albanians became skilled couriers out of necessity under the communist hash regime which lasted until the early 1990s .

The Kosovo crisis of the 1990s and Britain’s willingness to accept refugees from the troubled Balkan state were then exploited by thousands of Albanians falsely claiming to be Kosovars fleeing the conflict, he said. he adds.

“And if they did not commit crimes, most remained in Britain unnoticed and with no apparent escape,” he added.

However, people follow others, so these satellite communities in the 1990s continued to grow as more Albanians joined their friends and family.

These communities are then exploitable by Albanian organized crime groups to provide perfect cover to operate in the UK to control cocaine markets, establish and maintain cannabis growing areas and smuggle in further more people ; also investing in our infrastructure to further legitimize the appearance of being here.

Some Albanian immigrants will join existing friends and families, others as workers in illegal activities, or both. So, because many people took advantage of the Kosovar refugee crisis and were able to settle here who normally wouldn’t have been able to, we created an environment similar to that in southern Spain, where our criminals are inadvertently protected by the wider British.

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