Brothers and clients: heroin, Turkey, and the making of the Albanian "Mafia"
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For much of the postwar era, heroin trafficking into Western Europe and North America was an industry dominated by French and Italian trafficking networks. The most powerful of these networks, famously labeled the “French Connection,” held sway over the transatlantic trade from their base of operations in Marseilles for over a quarter of a century. Since the collapse of the French Connection in 1973, a variety of groups have seized control over the transshipment of heroin into Western Europe and North America. Among the most recent and noted actors to play a role in the contemporary narcotics trade are Albanians from the former Yugoslavia. Despite the growing prominence of Albanian organized crime groups, there is a great deal about this element of the Eastern European underworld that remains unknown. Very little empirical research has been conducted into the early origins of the various Albanian organized crime factions.
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