An Albanian organised crime boss from London who drove top-of-the-range vehicles hired from a drug dealer’s car rental business has been barred from returning to Britain in a court victory for the National Crime Agency.
The 36-year-old gangster, referred to in legal papers only as B9, enjoyed a high-living lifestyle despite having “almost no financial footprint in the UK” and only limited earnings from a London loft company.
Investigators found instead he made his money from importing cocaine and people trafficking as a key member of an Albanian organised crime group and that he was capable of “extreme violence” to protect his interests.
In one incident he stabbed a club bouncer in Seven Sisters three times in the heart area with a four-inch flick knife but escaped prosecution after the victim was “paid very well” for not helping police and fled to Bulgaria. Photos of the gangster with weapons including a gun stored in his belt, a Kalashnikov, and an Israeli pistol, were also found on his phone during a border check at Dover.
On other occasions, he was seen by officers from the National Crime Agency using “anti-surveillance techniques” while driving, included performing loops and turns, speeding up or slowing down suddenly, and doubling back on himself.
It says that the NCA’s assessment is that Albanian crime groups now control “the cocaine market across the main city and suburban areas” of thiscountry, except Liverpool, and that a “younger generation of Albanian criminals is starting to lose the reluctance of the older generation to do anything that would bring them to the attention of law enforcement agencies”. It adds that increasing numbers of murders are taking place as a result.
Further evidence of his criminal conduct, which is detailed in a ruling by judges at the Special Immigration Appeals Commission, came when a bundle of 65,000 Euros with the gangster’s DNA on it was found in a secret compartment of a car driven by an associate after it was stopped by border guards at Coquelles in France.
The gangster had been in touch with the driver shortly before and afterwards and the court was told that the cash was the proceeds of drug distribution.
The extent of the gangster’s unlawful activities led the Home Secretary to remove his right to reside in the UK, which had been granted in 2012 because of his marriage to a Latvian woman living in London.
The grounds cited were that he was an “influential member of a UK-based Albanian criminal community that imports class A drugs and distributes them across the UK” and ready to “inflict serious violence” on those opposed to his interests.
The Home Office also alleged that he was involved in trafficking illegal migrants and that he posed a “genuine, present and sufficiently serious threat to the UK’s public security and safety” to justify being stripped of his right to live here.
The gangster, who gave addresses at Sheldon Square in Paddington and Swinton Street, King’s Cross, as his homes to investigators, appealed on human rights grounds and claimed that he had was not involved in crime.
But the Special Immigration Appeals Commission rejected his bid to overturn the Home Secretary’s decision after accepting the National Crime Agency’s evidence that he is an organised crime boss.
“Unless excluded, B9 would pose a serious risk of again conducting those activities in the UK, as a central facilitating figure,” said the judges’ ruling after setting out its conclusion that the gangster was involved in Class A drug importation.
Earlier the court was given the names of around a dozen of the gangster’s criminal associates, many of whom have been convicted of drug or human trafficking offences.
One, named Gee Mason, ran a car rental business called “Selective Car Hire” and “Optimum VR Ltd” in Enfield after being freed from prison in 2014 after serving half of an 18 year sentence for attempting to import 200 kilos of heroin.
The court heard that vehicles hired by B9 included “a Bentley, a Range Rover, a Jaguar and a number of Mercedes and BMW vehicles” and that he regularly travelled long distances for brief meetings in cafes and restaurants where he would pass instructions to criminal associates.
It was also told that gangster wrongly told Border Force officers in Ashford that Mason, who is currently abroad on the run and wanted for recall to prison, was his uncle after being stopped as he drove a Bentley Bentayga on a trip to Albania and also lied about his wife’s nationality.
Another of the gangster’s associates named in tbe court judgment is 33-year-old Albanian Alket Dauti, who was arrested by NCA officers in June 2018 in a raid on his flat in Penge in south east London over his involvement in people trafficking, two months after meeting B9 at a shisha bar in north London
Dauti was later extradited to Belgium in January 2019 to serve a ten year sentence for organised immigration crime.
Welcoming the court success, Chris Farrimond, the NCA’s deputy director of investigations, said: “We believe this individual was a high ranking member of a significant organised crime group involved in a range of serious criminality that was impacting upon the UK.
“This assessment was made following a thorough investigation and was upheld by the court judgment. The NCA is determined to use all the tools at our disposal to protect the public from serious and organised crime.”
The judgment on B9’s case by the Special Immigration Appeals Commission states that Albanian crime in Britain “began to emerge” following the war in Kosovo of 1998 and 1999 after which large numbers of Albanians who claimed falsely to be Kosovan Albanians came to Britain to live.
It says that the NCA’s assessment is that Albanian crime groups now control “the cocaine market across the main city and suburban areas” of this country, except Liverpool.
It also warns that a “younger generation of Albanian criminals is starting to lose the reluctance of the older generation to do anything that would bring them to the attention of law enforcement agencies”. and that increasing numbers of murders are taking place as a result.
Source – Evening Standard