Security reports: Balkan clans are smuggling cocaine more often, Macedonians are among the criminals

Nine people were arrested in Bahrain for drug trafficking, including people from the region / PHOTO The daily tribune Bahrain

If in the past stalematefrom on the drug, that is, heroin started and developed in South America, today it is mostly spread throughout the world precisely through the Balkan roads and the region. That's it in short The US Drug Enforcement Agency – DEA he looks at the region and drug trafficking as he once looked at the countries of South America and the narcotics trade.

Namely in Albania last week, as informed by the Police Administration of Montenegro, 430 kilograms of cocaine were seized, which was smuggled by boat from Colombia through the port of Bar. It was the epilogue of the international police operation named "Port", which, according to media reports, was led by the American agency DEA, specialized in the fight against the drug mafia and the fight against Latin American clans.

As Belgrade writes Policy сbut one day later, on Saturday last weekend, 115 kilograms of cocaine were seized in Belgium, leading to the arrest of eight suspects from Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina. They are accused of delivering drugs from South America to Rotterdam. The cocaine seized in Albania and Belgium is suspected to have been destined for the illegal drug market in the European Union.

These two cases speak to the increasing strength of the Balkan gangs, groups that are in the deep shadows, while the war continues in the region and in the world until the extermination of the members of the famous "Skalyarski" and "Kavachki" clans. The huge quantities of drugs that are occasionally seized, primarily cocaine, speak to their hard-to-imagine enormous financial power and influence. Of course, this has not gone unnoticed in the world's largest police services, which is why the DEA, Europol and other law enforcement officers are so concerned with the Balkans.

Additionally "Daily Tribune - Bahrain" recently announced that a group of internationals, including Macedonians, who were involved in the illegal trade in narcotics, had been broken up. According to the information of "Sloboden Pechat", we are talking about Macedonian citizens known to the authorities for their criminal activities, who for the time being have not been announced by the media in the country that they were arrested in Bahrain.

Long-term relationships

Meanwhile, the European Agency for Monitoring Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) recently published its analysis of these omissions in the Western Balkans, because in Brussels they call the countries of the region outside the EU politically and geographically – Albania, Montenegro, North Macedonia, БOsna and Herzegovina and Serbia, by treating Kosovo as a separate entity. They stated that the Balkan route of heroin, which leads from Turkey to Western Europe, is still active, but that cocaine smuggling in this direction is gaining more and more importance. The fact that drug routes enter the EU in these areas, for example, from Turkey to Bulgaria, then via Serbia, speaks volumes for the complexity of those channels. further, they exit to Hungary, where they re-enter the European Union.

Apart from geography, demography is also important for the development of smuggling channels. As stated in American reports, the fact that a large number of citizens from the Balkans live in EU countries means that there are many who could be recruited to work for the underground. These clans are present in Belgium and the Netherlands, countries where the large ports of Antwerp and Rotterdam are located, which are otherwise important "gateways" for smuggled narcotics destined for the European drug market. Also, Balkan migration is very present in Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Spain, and even outside the borders of the EU - in Great Britain.

In their activities, it is stated, an important role is played by the violence committed during the conflict for supremacy in the drug market, which led to a large number of murders. However, the traditional Balkan heroin route is increasingly becoming transversal to cocaine. The mentioned report does not go into the beginnings of the connections of the local underground with South America, but it is assumed that those first contacts were made at the end of the nineties of the last century. In the early 2000s, the "Zemun clan", then the most powerful criminal group, focused on Colombia, but their departure there was interrupted by their arrest in Paris and extradition to Belgrade.

Perhaps the best example of the Latin American connection is the accused Darko Saric and his group, who came under the scrutiny of the DEA, which since then, it seems, has been monitoring the Balkans, but also South America, which could be seen a few days ago in Albania. The Balkan clan is active in Ecuador, the media reported these days. In recent years, this country has become the port of departure for thousands of tons of cocaine from Colombia and Peru destined for the international market. This clan, as stated, consists of a colorful ethnic group, including Albanians, Croats, Montenegrins, Serbs and Russians. EMCDDA notes in its report another interesting change in the underground of the region – once Albania was the center of marijuana cultivation, and today it is produced in laboratories all over the Balkans, and some of them have even been moved to the EU. Criminal groups have adopted the latest technologies to improve marijuana production, including indoor cultivation equipment. They also use cryptocurrencies and encrypted systems for communication, the most famous of which in Serbia are the "Sky" phones. "These criminal groups have a significant impact on security, governance and the rule of law in the region," the EMCDDA report said.

The predominance of narcotics as a cause of violence and murder in the region

 

"Criminal groups from the Western Balkans have become key players in the narcotics market in the region, but also in the EU," the EMCDDA report states.

In their activities, it is stated, an important role is played by the violence committed during the conflict for the supremacy of the drug market, which led to a large number of murders. However, the traditional Balkan route to heroin is becoming increasingly obstructed by cocaine.

The mentioned report does not go into the beginnings of the connections of the local underground with South America, but it is assumed that those first contacts were made at the end of the nineties of the last century. In the early 2000s, the "Zemun clan", then the most powerful criminal group, which focused on Colombia.

The Balkan clan is active in Ecuador, writes the daily media. This country in the last year has become the port of departure for thousands of tons of cocaine from Colombia and Peru, destined for the international market. This clan, as the media reports, consists of colorful ethnic groups, including Albanians, Croats, Montenegrins, Serbs, Macedonians and Russians.

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