ni for a ear and secretK recorded some 6,000 of his “business”rnconversations. He was apprehended in the spring of 1995, sentencedrnto 17 years in prison, and sent to the Regcnsdorf jail.rnWhile being transferred to Bern for a second trial in Jannar-rn1996, Sabcdini escaped from the train. The Swiss suspect thatrnhe now lives in the Czech Republic and controls the distributionrnof drugs to the Zurich market from there.rnSwiss police estimate that Kosovo Albanians bring in 500rnkilograms of heroin per month. Zurich alone has 5,000 hardrndrug addicts, and the state recently bought 500 kilograms ofrnheroin for use in rehabilitahon. There are about 250,000 Albaniansrnin Switzerland (abont 150,000 from Kosovo); in additionrnto the drug trade, man of them are involved in illegal work,rntheft, and begging.rnIn 1995, a series of police raids and court trials in France revealedrnthe involvement of Albanian gangs in organized crime ofrnall kinds, from heroin smuggling to child prostituHon. Earlvrnthis year, members of an ^Albanian drug gang were arrested inrnKemper, in western France, after police discovered a network ofrnillegal activities covering all of Brittany. Their leader, 30-yearoldrnArben Korba, was sentenced to eight vears in prison. Korbarncommanded 16 Albanians who were smuggling cars from Germanyrnand taking heroin to Kemper and other French cities.rn”Korba has a typical file,” the police told me. “He arrived inrn1990 and was registered as a political refugee. However, laterrnon he got involved in crime.”rnIn 1994, the Geopolitical Drug Observatory, a group headquarteredrnin Paris, reported that one armed group, known asrnthe Albanian Resistance Movement and National LiberationrnFront, trades in heroin in order to buy weapons and fund thernseparatist cause in Kosovo. The French found strong indicationsrnthat, as early as ten years before, the entire business of drugrnsmuggling had been organized by the chiefs of the Albanian secretrnservice, who control the Albanian undergrovmd even today.rnThe Observatory recommended that Albanian criminals be deported.rnJudging by police reports, Germany may have the most troublernwith Yugoslav offenders, particularly with Albanians. ThernGermans used to grant them political asylum; now, they want tornexpel them. German Police Minister Manfred Janter says thatrnone of every ten criminals arrested in Germany comes from thernformer Yugoslavia. Last summer, about 40 criminals were arrestedrnin Westphalia and Lower Saxony, most of them from Yugoslavia.rnThe Buckbach prison near Frankfurt houses 530 inmates,rn27 of them Yugoslavs. According to the Kosmet weeklyrnZeri, as many as 1,200 Albanians are on the list of dangerousrncriminals in Germany. The Frankfurt police have a separaterndepartment for fighting Yugoslav criminals. Joseph Schutse, directorrnof the Frankfurt prison, said that, “Thirty years ago, Turksrnwere the first who started ‘doing’ drugs. Albanians got involvedrnlater on, and, over the past five years, Serbs are doing it sporadically.rnThe Kosovo network is fairly strong and is expanding allrnthe fime.” He added that;rnThe chief of [the] Albanian drug mafia in Frankfurt wasrnIso Azemaj, an Albanian from Kosovo. We captured himrnin 1995, sentenced him to life in prison for smugglingrnand murder, but he managed to escape during his transportationrnto [a] prison hospital…. He is now hiding inrnPortugal. We expect the Portuguese to extiadite him tornus one day, since he had fired at a police officer.rnIn North America, Kosoo Albanians form one of thernstronger links in the Colombian chain of drug distribution.rnThey are active in New York, where there are 60,000 of diem,rnand in Chicago and Toronto. According to some estimates,rnthey make about $50 million a vear on heroin. Milan Vujic, arnChicago policeman, told me that:rnOur police have troubles widi the Albanian underground,rnsince they are close-knit and difficult to handle.rnU.S. policemen do not know the Albanian language; secondly,rnthey almost cannot distinguish them from Turksrnand Arabs, and do not manage to infiltrate their ownrnagents into their ranks. Albanians cover up for their businessrnb’ working at restaurants registered as Greeks, Turks,rnKurds, Arabs. The Kosovar Albanians are very well connectedrnamong themselves; they are obedient and disciplinedrn. .. and ruthless in settling accounts with informantsrnwithin their ranks. Their couriers for heroinrndistribution across the U.S. include elderlv women, evenrnchildren, who cannot speak English, and dierefore werncan hardly obtain any useful iirformation from them duringrninvestigation. Albanians invest the profits they earnedrnon heroin into houses and entire neighborhoods in NewrnYork and Chicago. In the Bronx, they even bought somernSerbian houses in order to erect an ethnically clean suburbrnfor themselves.rnYugoslav police have a registry of “Wanted” circulars. It is arnsmall green book, held by all pofice officers at border crossings,rnand it includes about 1,500 names of Yugoslavs and foreignersrnunder police supervision. Albanians are the most numerous onrnthis list of supervised persons.rnAn Albanian scholar from Pristina, Dr. Kadri Bicaj, disturbedrnby the major role that Kosovo Albanians play in the world’s drugrntrade, has established the Association for Fighting Drug Addictionrnand Drug Smuggling in Kosovo. But the dangers posed byrnAlbanian drug smuggling are not only physical and spiritual;rnthey are political. The Albanian underground is extensively involvedrnin the political life of Kosmet, and a portion of Albanianrndrug profits returns to Kosmet as an investment into Albanianrnseparatism. The sponsors of Albanian separatist movements alsorninclude the secret services of several major countries, who financernsome of their own political activities in other countiiesrnthrough drug smuggling. -ernFor further information on the crisis inrnKosovo, check out our websiternThe website is updated frequently;rnremember to bookmark it and return often.rnwww.chroniclesmagazine.orgrn24/CHRONICLESrnrnrn