Sources say several different businesses are often used to launder money, but the majority of criminal funds are carried back to Albania by hand.
Albanian criminal gangs are on the rise in the UK and shipping hundreds of millions of pounds in criminal proceeds back to Albania every year, an investigation has claimed.
A probe by GB News discovered how a number of different businesses are now often used to launder money with the majority of criminal funds being simply carried back to Albania by hand, or in vehicles.
In recent seizures highlighted in the GB News investigation, £300,000 was found in luggage at a UK airport, bound for the Albanian capital Tirana. In another incident Border officers found £500,000 hidden in a van at a UK port.
After screening his findings today (TUESDAY) GB News Home and Security Editor Mark White told presenter Tom Harwood: “These gangs have always been pretty prominent within the UK anyway in terms of their criminal activity, but they’re growing.
“They are taking over more and more territory. What we’ve been told is that many of the Albanians who are coming across the English Channel in these small boats are being orchestrated by criminal gangs. They are being used in many cases to act, as they say, as farmers, to look after cannabis farms and others are doing other business with criminal gangs here in this country.
“Now that’s not to say that every single Albanian coming across is a criminal. That’s absolutely not the case. But many, many are, and that is a real concern.”
According to the GB News probe, Albanian crime groups now control the majority of cannabis farms across the UK.
In recent years, Albanian criminals have taken over much of the trade in cannabis from Vietnamese crime groups.
Most of the criminal activity involving cannabis farms is understood to be concentrated in more northern areas.
But in almost every part of the country, Albanians are the dominant group involved in cannabis cultivation.
GB News reported on a specialist police unit in Suffolk recently, where officers said the majority of criminals using that county’s roads for drug crime were Albanian.
In the south of the country, Albanian crime groups still control most of the cocaine trade.
Sources said that the trade in cannabis was largely self-contained amongst Albanian criminals here, with less control from crime bosses in their home country.
But the cocaine trade is largely overseen by crime lords back in Albania.
Across the UK, there have been a number of recent arrests of Albanians suspected of involvement in cross-Channel people smuggling.
Increasingly, many Albanians who enter the UK asylum system and are then housed in hotels, disappear within days, picked up by criminal contacts.
Recent figures revealed that around 60 percent of those arriving by small boat had come from Albania.
Many of the Albanian crime groups have been using social media to advertise for people interested in making the Channel crossing.
They arrange passage to north west France, where they are then handed over to the Kurdish gang masters.
In recent months UK authorities have convinced the big social media giants to remove more than 1,700 videos posted by Albanian criminals.
Source: GB News