An Albanian gang who imported tons of cocaine from the Netherlands to Italy has been broken up with the arrest of nine people, accused of international drug trafficking and possession of weapons. A total of 17 people were arrested throughout the investigation and nearly 200 kilos of cocaine seized, along with guns and an assault rifle.
Among those arrested by Italian police was the alleged leader of the gang, Lulzim Daiu, who is accused of organising the drug imports, coordinating the relations between the drug suppliers and couriers and their subsequent distribution in Italy.
The investigations, coordinated by the Anti-Mafia Directorate of Rome, discovered that the cocaine arrived in the Netherlands from where it was transported to Italy in specially modified cars, and finally sold in Rome.
The cars were modified according to the quantity of drugs to be transported, using vans or SUVs for transnational journeys between 15 and 50 kg and cars for the transport of smaller quantities of drugs and for the transport of weapons and money.
The alterations to the vehicles were made in a workshop in Madrid for a cost of between 10 and 20 thousand euros, which was sometimes paid for in cocaine.
The organisation was able to indicate exactly the amount that could be hidden in the double bottom of the car thanks to the use of wooden frames equivalent to the size of the standard block of cocaine.
In order to further avoid detection, the drugs, which were first vacuum packed, were then put in packages of coffee or pepper and covered with insulating tape, in an effort to make them undetectable by sniffer dogs.
A symbol or writing was then printed on the package to indicate the quality of the drug which was subsequently sold, in the Italian capital for between 28 and 35 thousand euros per kilo.