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Rampage of the mafia may delay Kosovo independence,,2089-2125155,00.html ^

Posted on 04/09/2006 1:37:15 AM PDT by tgambill

KOSOVO, the former Yugoslav province, is falling into the grip of Albanian organised crime gangs, casting a shadow over attempts by the international community to turn it into a fully fledged independent state by the end of this year.

Participants in talks in Vienna, sponsored by the United Nations, on the “final status” of Kosovo, are concerned that the mafia networks that smuggled guns into the disputed province from Albania in 1997 and 1998 are using the same channels for a burgeoning trade in illicit petrol, cigarettes and cement. Prostitution and drugs are also popular staples of the black economy.

The profits are ploughed into shopping centres and hotels, which are going up as part of a building boom in the province. Petrol stations are especially popular — there are more than 2,000 of them catering for a population of 2m in a territory the size of Devon. Many are believed to be part of a money laundering racket, controlled by a few of the largest clan families, involving oil smuggled in from Montenegro.

Despite attempts by Soren Jessen-Petersen, head of the UN mission in Kosovo, to downplay the extent of the problem, UN officials admit the corruption extends deep into the heart of the Kosovo government.

“Crime groups have been able to operate with impunity,” said Marek Antoni Nowicki, Poland’s leading human rights lawyer and the UN’s international ombudsman for Kosovo until last year.

“You have a criminal state in real power — it needs underground illegal structures to supply it with everything to survive. These networks can rely on the weakness of the public institutions to sanction their operations.”

On Friday the UN’s internal watchdog, the Office of Internal Oversight, accused Jessen-Petersen of turning a blind eye to widespread fraud at Pristina airport. He protested that the accusation was “entirely unwarranted”.

Kosovo is still technically part of Serbia: Vojislav Kostunica, the Serbian prime minister, argues that Belgrade must retain some form of control.

The fight against corruption is complicated by the fact that the task is shared between different bodies of varying degrees of competence.

“The aim is to keep the criminals under control,” said Nowicki. “The question is can the international community do it? It is very doubtful.”

TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: albania; antichristian; appeasement; balkans; balkanterrorist; clintonlegacy; clintonsquagmire; etc; islamofascists; jihad; kosovo; mark502ss; wesclark; wesleyclark; wrongplace; wrongside; wrongtime; wrongwar

1 posted on 04/09/2006 1:37:20 AM PDT by tgambill
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Comment #2 Removed by Moderator

To: FivebyFive

Clinton's true legacy. I wonder if this chapter will be found in his library.

3 posted on 04/09/2006 2:03:38 AM PDT by Nathan Zachary
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To: Nathan Zachary

Old but good:

From 'Terrorists' to 'Partners'

"Among the most troubling aspects of the Clinton Administration's effective alliance with the KLA are numerous reports from reputable unofficial sources -- including the highly respected Jane's publications -- that the KLA is closely involved with:

* The extensive Albanian crime network that extends throughout Europe and into North America, including allegations that a major portion of the KLA finances are derived from that network, mainly proceeds from drug trafficking; and

* Terrorist organizations motivated by the ideology of radical Islam, including assets of Iran and of the notorious Osama bin-Ladin -- who has vowed a global terrorist war against Americans and American interests."

Funding the KLA
Albanians in exile send millions of dollars to support the KLA

"They say whatever happens at the peace talks they will continue collecting money for weapons.

"This is only the beginning" says KLA fundraiser Mustaf Ahmetaj. "It will continue until the end - until we have a sovereign and independent Kosovo."

4 posted on 04/09/2006 2:31:11 AM PDT by endthematrix (None dare call it ISLAMOFACISM!)
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To: tgambill
You know what? I have lost track of who's who in this situation.
I mean .. not that I ever had it straight in the first place, but ... who's the good guys?
The 'ethnic' Albanians?
The Kurds?
The whey?

As I read this ... it sounds like some folks are rebuilding a nation in whatever manner they can.

To build buildings, of course.

Cigs and hookers?
The necessities of life .. they've obviously sworn off booze.

5 posted on 04/09/2006 4:22:26 AM PDT by knarf (A place where anyone can learn anything ... especially that which promotes clear thinking.)
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To: tgambill
I just wish the worldwide MSM wouldn't tag the moniker 'Mafia' on every 3rd world, mostly 2nd rate, criminal enterprise/gang.
Russian 'Mafia', Albanian 'Mafia', Mexican 'Mafia', blah blah, blah. - Bullfeathers.

There's only one Mafia, period. The real Mafia should sue in Federal and/or the World Court for copyright & trademark infringement.

6 posted on 04/09/2006 5:54:43 AM PDT by Condor51 (Better to fight for something than live for nothing - Gen. George S. Patton)
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To: Condor51

Actually they are separate. The Russian mafia works independently of the Albanian Mafia. The same for the Serbian Mafia (Black Hand - named in a court case several years ago), the Italian mafia etc...and different but yes they work together. They also work with international organizations.....and you know the rest.

7 posted on 04/09/2006 8:47:56 AM PDT by tgambill (I would like to comment.....)
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To: tgambill
Crime knows no boundaries. I drove past industrial size oil storage tanks in nowheresville, northwest Albania near the Montenegrin border. They were constructed by Albanians who were smuggling oil thru Montengro and on into Serbia to evade the international sanctions imposed on Serbia. Ironically, the sanctions were imposed partially because of the Serb treatment of Albanians. Here's another example.
8 posted on 04/09/2006 10:37:09 AM PDT by mark502inf
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Comment #9 Removed by Moderator

To: mark502inf; admin

Who's getting their post deleted?

10 posted on 04/17/2006 12:12:47 PM PDT by montyspython (Love that chicken from Popeye's)
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