Transnational organized crime
Speaking in April last year, Britain's ambassador to Albania, Duncan Norman, said "60 to 70 per cent" of 726 Albanian inmates at that time in Britain were from these three northern counties.
Deeply impoverished, the region has become a rich recruitment ground for the Albanian crime gangs that now dominate the cocaine market in Britain.
Italian police on Tuesday arrested new Mafia boss Settimino Mineo and dozens of other suspects in a major swoop against a resurgent Cosa Nostra.
Pope Francis fired the latest salvo in his condemnation of the Italian mafia on Wednesday, telling gangsters that they "carry death in their souls" and cannot claim to be Catholics.
Speaking at his weekly general audience in St Peter's Square, the Pope excoriated mafia criminals in a discourse about "fake Christians" who, he said, claim to be pious but in fact "live a corrupt life".
Some 200 members of one of Italy’s most infamous mafia groups were arrested in an operation in Italy and Germany, police said on Jan. 9.
Istanbul police have detained 16 suspects in a broadened operation against a mafia organization accused of forcing people into prostitution, seizing the assets of the suspected gang members.