Kosovo PM likened to "mafia-like" Albanian group responsible for kidney racket

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Prishtina, Dec 15 (ANI): A Council of Europe inquiry report on organised crime has revealed that Kosovo's Prime Minister Hashim Thaci is the head of a "mafia-like" Albanian group responsible for smuggling weapons, drugs and human organs through eastern Europe.

According to The Guardian, the two-year inquiry identified Thaci as the chief of the network that began operating criminal rackets during the 1999 Kosovo war, and has been a powerful influence over the country's government since then.

The Prime Minister has been exerting "violent control" over the heroin trade over the last decade. Thaci's aides have also been held captives across the border into Albania after the war, where a number of Serbs are said to have been murdered for their kidneys and were sold on the black market, the report said.

Meanwhile, legal proceedings began in a Pristina district court today into a case of alleged organ trafficking discovered by police in 2008.

The report has linked the cased, in which organs were reportedly taken from poor victims at a clinic known as Medicus, to Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) that was alleged associated to organ trafficking in 2000.

Dick Marty, the human rights investigator behind the inquiry, would reportedly present his report to European diplomats from all 47-member states at a meeting in Paris on Thursday.

His report suggests Thaci's links with organised crime dates back to over a decade, when those loyal to his Drenica group came to dominate the KLA, and seized control of "most of the illicit criminal enterprises" in which Kosovans were involved in south of the border, in Albania.

The report also found that the KLA held mostly Serb captives in a secret network of six detention facilities in northern Albania, and that Thaci's Drenica group "bear the greatest responsibility" for jails and the fate of the prisoners.

A "handful" of prisoners were said to have been transferred to a makeshift prison just north of Tirana, where they were killed for their kidneys, the report added. (ANI)

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