Gulf Today, Staff Reporter
The Dubai Police have arrested Denis Matoshi, a leader of the Albanian-speaking (KOMPANIA BELLO) criminal group -a transnational organised crime syndicate involved in drug trafficking and smuggling operations between South America and Europe with an estimated street value of 350 million euros (1 billion and 523 million dirhams).
As part of an international operation code-named ‘Los Blancos’, Dubai Police arrested the suspect who is wanted by the Italian authorities on charges of (criminal complicity and leading a drug-trafficking gang at an international level).
The operation, which involved the anti-drug departments of 10 countries, resulted in apprehending 20 wanted gang leaders in a synchronised series of raids last Tuesday.
Italian authorities praised Dubai Police’s professionalism, efficiency and swift response to the red notice issued by the International Criminal Police Organization "Interpol" to arrest the Albanian suspect in Dubai.
They explained that the gang’s illegal activities had been investigated since 2015 by the Italian International Police Cooperation Service (SCIP) and the Flying Squad Unit at the Main Police Station in Florence.
Italian authorities further valued the commitment that Dubai Police demonstrates in the global fight against organised crime and for their tireless work in investigating and apprehending the internationally wanted criminal.
The fight against Transnational Organised Crime
Lt General Abdullah Khalifa Al Marri, Commander-In-Chief of Dubai Police, said the operation is another achievement to the fruitful cooperation between Dubai Police and international law enforcement agencies in ensuring the world’s security and safety as well as tackling transnational organised crime.
Lt General Al Marri attributed the operation's success to the continuous support and wise leadership of HH Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior, who has always directed the UAE's forces to maintain strong, active, and vital communication channels with the world's police agencies, and Interpol to tackle transnational organised crime.
The Commander-in-chief of Dubai Police also praised the tremendous efforts made by the force's team from the General Department of Criminal Investigations who located, tracked, and arrested the suspect after receiving the Interpol’s Red Notice.
10 Countries, 20 Wanted Criminals
Expert Major General Khalil Ibrahim Al Mansouri, Assistant Commander-in-Chief for Criminal Investigation Affairs at Dubai Police, said that ‘Los Blancos’ operation was carried out by Dubai Police professional SWAT team, in cooperation with several policing agencies across eleven countries, to arrest 20 wanted gang leaders. He further noted that the criminals were brought down in one synchronised blow at Italy, Albania, Belgium, Germany, Spain, Hungary, Greece, Romania, Netherlands, and the UAE.
“A team of elite officers from the Wanted People Department at the General Department of Criminal Investigation at Dubai Police was immediately assigned to the task after exchanging necessary information with the Italian authorities and Interpol,” “Our officers, aided by the Criminal Data Analysis Centre at Dubai Police, located the suspect and arrested him in Dubai,” Maj. Gen. Al Mansouri added.
Revealing the details of the arrest, Colonel Saeed Al Qamzi, director of the Wanted Persons Department at Dubai Police, said they placed the suspect under close surveillance over several days before receiving the Red Notice against him.
“Upon exchanging information with the Italian authorities, we identified the drug kingpin whereabouts and monitored his daily movements and apprehended as soon as we received the Red Notice”, Col. Al Qamzi added.
Tonnes of Narcotic Toxins
Colonel Al Qamzi noted that Denis Matoshi is wanted by the Italian authorities on charges of leading an organized criminal gang responsible for drug trafficking operations.
“Along with other gang leaders, the suspect managed to smuggle and transport hundreds of tons of drugs to Europe through seaports and sold them to drug users,” Col Al Qamzi explained.
He indicated that the Italian authorities monitored the gang who worked jointly in three criminal groups (Minya, Jimmy, and Riti) each had more than one leader and own slogans and symbols.
Col Al Qamzi pointed out that the gang’s leaders, who were taken down on the 15th of September (last Tuesday, used modern programmes and gadgets to communicate during transporting and smuggling narcotic toxins between South America and Europe.
Extraditing the wanted
Colonel Al Qamzi pointed out that Denis Matoshi will be handed over to the competent authorities at the Italian Interpol after presenting him before the Public Prosecution in Dubai and taking legal actions to obtain his extradition warrant per the international laws in this regard.
It is worth noting that the active cooperation of Dubai Police with international police agencies has resulted in the extraditing 52 international wanted people involved in serious crimes such as terrorism, organised crime, money laundering, murder and drugs. They were wanted in several countries like the Netherlands, Belgium, UK, Sweden, Australia, Pakistan, Indian, China and other countries.
Official records indicate that the defendants were one of Dubai bars when a hotel inspection officer suspected their behaviours, and approached them to find out that they carried 87 drug pills.
The incident dates back to last July, when police learned about the defendant’s possession of drugs, and immediately carried out investigations to arrest him red-handed.
The Abu Dhabi Customs foiled an attempt to smuggle 80 wraps containing a green substance suspected to be marijuana, distributed in two bags weighing 40 kilogrammes.
The Ministry called on the companies practicing such activities to enhance their awareness and knowledge on the risks of money laundering and keep pace with the government's efforts in this regard.
Five institutions in Dubai have come together to propagate kidney health with March having been observed globally as the “National Kidney Month” and March 11 (Thursday) as “World Kidney Day.”
The Islamic Affairs and Charitable Activities Department (IACAD) announced on Tuesday that all annual Ramadan tent permits in the Emirate of Dubai will be cancelled this year in compliance with government precautionary and preventive measures to stem the spread of COVID-19.