Since the end of the Balkans conflict, the western Balkans has become a key hub in the trafficking of drugs and weapons.
In more recent times, the trafficking of human beings has also become big business for the organised crime gangs that operate in the region.
Organized crime groups in the Western Balkans are multiethnic, cross-border, and happy to work with one another. They are also able to operate with minimum risk as conviction rates are low. Borders in the region are often poorly maintained and easily by-passed.
According to a report by Humsec.eu another key factor is the large ethnic Albanian Diaspora has allowed ethnic Albanian rings to emerge as the dominant force in European drugs trafficking and distribution. According to Swiss police estimates, ethnic Albanians control about 80 % of the lucrative heroin market in Switzerland, and raising stakes in other European countries.
Trafficking in drugs, human beings, and weapons – are intertwined, and all three are deeply embedded in the pervasive culture of corruption in the region.
In this webinar we explore the border security and migration challenges affecting South East Europe and the Balkans region.