Voices from Russia

Saturday, 29 March 2008

Kosovo: One of the World’s Major Drug Trade Centres

Filed under: Kosovo,politics,Russian,Serbia — 01varvara @ 00.00

interpol_logo.jpg

Logo of Interpol

The Serbian enclave of Kosovo, which recently declared independence, has turned into a major drug trade centre. According to Interpol, Europol, and the FBI, Kosovo is at the crossroads of global drug smuggling routes.

One of the reports submitted to the US Congress describes Albania and Kosovo as the heart of the Balkan route, which links Pakistan and Afghanistan with Europe. 80 percent of heroin is channelled there via Kosovo. The links between Albanian crime groups and South American drug cartels have acquired dangerous proportions.

According to UN experts, the Albanian drug mafia is the most powerful criminal gang in Europe, controlling heroin trade in many countries of the continent. A Western diplomat working in the Balkans said the territories of Albania, Kosovo, and Western Macedonia are huge drug depots storing tons of drugs. An employee with the Russian Civil Service Academy, Natalia Frolova, said that the forced separation of Kosovo from Serbia in 1999, besides breaching Serbian sovereignty and territorial integrity, also caused chaos, playing into the hands of crime groups.

Sustainable drug traffic has a close connection with trading in weapons and the functioning of terrorist-training centres, which makes it a whole criminal network, she said. For this reason, the world community should repulse the aggressor. The UDI of Kosovo from Serbia has been accompanied by an increase in criminal activities, which is a challenge we all should recognise and set our minds to deal with.

In the estimates of Interpol, Kosovo has long witnessed a link between crime groups and local extremists that hinges on family and social clans. Dmitri Rogozin, the Russian representative to NATO, is convinced that the UDI of Kosovo was, among other things, the result of pressure from criminal groups. In addition, the lobbyists soliciting services from some of the foreign politicians who recognised Kosovo may well have paid the pols off with dirty money from Albanian drug dealers. In any case, Russian special services (intelligence agencies) possess information that Kosovo has grown into a major crossing point for the smuggling of Asian drugs into Europe.

29 March 2008

Vyacheslav Solovyov

Voice of Russia World Service

http://www.ruvr.ru/main.php?lng=eng&q=24924&cid=58&p=29.03.2008

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