By Robert Cipo
-Secret documents, how did the State Security supply weapons to the criminal organization “Camorra” in Italy?!
Memorie.al / Over 20-year connections of Albanian officers with the Neapolitan mafia. How were anti-tank and automatic weapons produced and trafficked for urban warfare? Where did the earned dollars go and how were bank transactions carried out? For more than two decades, Italian organized crime and the Albanian State Security have actively cooperated. The authentic documents, which we are presenting to the reader, show that the Neapolitan “Camorra” and the Sigurimi cooperated in the trafficking of combat weapons, automatic weapons suitable for urban guerillas (the so-called popular partisan war in residential areas). It also cooperated on the trafficking of weapons against armored vehicles of the “anti-tank missile” type.
Continues from last issue
The affair of these weapons led to a new escalation of relations between the State Security and “Camorra”. The story of this “idyl” starts in the mid-60s, interrupted for a while, after the “suicide” of Mehmet Shehu, and then continued until the fall of 1991, two weeks before the arrival of the mission contingent. “Pelikan” in Albania.
At the end of 1983, the cut of Chinese aid five years earlier was causing serious consequences to the financial coffers of the communist dictatorship, therefore more and more, in order to secure strong currency, the State Security was engaging in increasingly criminal activities. , maximum punishable by international laws. These relations with the Italian mafia were covered with principled phrases, such as; “Protection of the homeland, duty upon duty”, “To fight, think and work as if under siege”, etc.
In the direct contacts with the “Camorra”, regarding the problem of armament, the Security representative was the former driver of the Albanian Embassy in the UAR (United Arab Republic, a former state created by the union of Egypt with Syria). Sent abroad by order of his party superior, B. Angjeli, and with the permission of the PPSh base organization.
The representative of “Camorra” was Mikele Zaza, an old interlocutor of the State Security, well-known throughout the Mediterranean basin, as the number 1 smuggler of “blondes” (cigarettes). The meeting took place in a small villa in the area of Pozilipos (near Naples). The Italian authorities of the time learned something about these treaties a few years later, thanks to the not very accurate statements of the penitent Pasquale Galasso, originally from the Vezuviano area.
The “ace” of Salerno’s DIA (Anti-Mafia Investigation Directorate), Leonida Primicerio, assessed these contacts as problematic enough that he informed the Italian secret services. The “export” markets of these goods would be found by the Italian side, while the transport would be carried out both with Italian and Albanian means, such as; heavy tonnage vehicles of the Export Park, ships of the Merchant Fleet or with diplomatic baggage.
One of the “specialists” of “Camorra”, with temporary residence at the address; Herstal, Liege, Belgium, at 23 Rue Grand Puits, provided almost the same quality of production as the automatic weapons produced in the Belgian factories, even with the Czech, Chinese and Swedish (“Bofors”) machines available from the Albanian side. .
The progress of these talks was reported to the heads of the State Security, from the headquarters of the company “Sokomar” in Switzerland, by a man of the Security with the nickname “Bibi” and was received in the telex of the company “Albtrans”, which covered international smuggling operations. , organized by the dictatorship state.
For communication, telex-type communication devices were used, quite advanced for the time. These devices were of the “Sagem” brand. The import of these means of communication was done in foreign currency and their legal importer was the General Directorate of Albanian Railways.
The affair of automatic weapons and anti-tank missiles was discussed in the highest circles of the State Security and the Ministry of Defense, in a very conspiratorial way, with Ramiz Alia, Prokop Murra and Hekuran Isai being informed. The Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs, Zylyftar Ramizi himself, in March 1984, gives orders in handwritten form and at what price to import automatic weapons and rockets.
The instructions were telexed to Italy and the employees charged with this task completed the transaction. No evidence has been found that Enver Hoxha was informed, who was at this time, in a serious state of health, at the time when these sales were made, which are documented by the correspondence published today.
Preliminary talks were completely fruitful and the issue of importing 9mm caliber automatics. and anti-tank missiles, with a range of 900 yards (800 meters), with a blind-piercing power of 300 mm., was called resolved in all aspects, such as price, payment method, cost of transportation, quantity per piece, packaging, secrecy, etc. .
The representatives of the “Camorra”, after the inspections in the secret Albanian military factories in Čeki, Poliça and the Autotractor Factory (Artillery Factory), offered the State Security, four of their highly qualified specialists, for the production of these automatic weapons in Albania.
The quantity produced was expected up to 200 thousand pieces, in 3-4 years. At this time, in the arsenal of the Albanian Armed Forces, there were only about 250 thousand AK-47 (“Kalashnikovs”) of Russian, Chinese and Albanian production. The amount of 200,000 pieces was destined both for the needs of the Albanian army and for export.
The first contingents of automatic weapons and some ready-to-use rocket samples, including optical targets, arrived in Albania from the production plant in Belgium. In fact, more than serving the defense of the socialist homeland, they served to enrich the arsenals of the Italian “Camorra”, being resold in the neighboring country, through smuggling channels with blue skiffs.
A quantity of such weapons, shortly after the incident with the Popa family, arrived in Naples. They were housed in an establishment near the Sacred Field (Camposanto) of Poggio Reale, on the “Santa Maria del Pianto” street. Later they were transferred to the warehouse of a metal-mechanical office, in the Afragola area.
It is worth highlighting the fact that; the profits from the sale of these weapons were used for the high communist nomenclature and for the strengthening of the dictatorship of the proletariat. Thus, a part of the hard currency was used to transform the “Mercedes” of Ramiz Ali and Adil Charcan into an armored car, as well as to buy a “Range Rover” vehicle. The firm that armored the vehicles was West German, while the payments were made through a Swiss bank. With this amount of currency, radiation meters, called “dosimeters” or “Gayger counters” were also bought in Sweden.
In another western country, with the mediation of companies controlled by the “Camorra”, Spanish handcuffs, night-sticks (more modern rubber batons), shock grenades (grenades that injure you, but do not kill you) and aggressive chemical agents were bought. of the “incapacitating” type (that remove the ability to act). All these tools were given to use by the police and the Albanian army and are typical for use against demonstration crowds.
Some of these rockets ended up in the hands of Palestinian terrorists, George Abash’s group, as well as a Lebanese faction linked to the local leader, Walid Jumblad. While Gramsci’s Cheque copy machine guns, caliber 9 mm., of the mitraglietta class, were captured from Northern Irish terrorists, by the troops of the Ulster Defense Regiment in the late 80s, in the eastern suburbs of the city of Londonderry.
British NCIS (National Criminal Investigation Service), followed the tracks of these automatics, to an Albanian truck of heavy tonnage, which had gone to England (when the two countries did not yet have diplomatic relations), to import comfort goods, for an Albanian state-owned company, with headquarters on “4 Shkurti” street (Leadership Block) in Tirana.
Documents: Security measures for the reception of fraudsters!Of interest to reflect the atmosphere of the time, is also the documentation related to the reception, treatment and supervision of the “specialists” of the “Camorra”, who came to Albania for the production of these weapons.
In these documents, the organizational measures for accommodation, food, transport, interpreters, supervision, up to the equipment with radios, color televisions, heaters, radiators, cigarettes and drinks of foreign brands, as well as special comforts are described in detail; Gramsh, Durrës, Rinas, Tirana, Martanesh-Bize, Poliçan, etc.
The State Security instructed how to receive and how to treat the “Camorra” specialists, predicting even the most intimate details of the lives of the four foreigners, as well as the contingent of Albanian women who would be “allowed” to associate with them.
These weapons were effective, not only against cars, or armored vans for transporting large monetary values, but also against any tank and armored car, of the 70s. Mention here the German “Leopard 1”, the Soviet-made “T-72”, the Polish “PSZH-3”, the Swiss “Piraha-2” or the American-made “M177”, which at that time were among the most modern.
Such rockets pierced up to 300 millimeters blind, so even the new generation of modern tanks, of the late 80s, such as the American “Abrahams”, the Israeli “Merkava”, the French “Le Clerc”, or The Soviet “T-80” were vulnerable in their weak points. These anti-tank missiles destroyed any protection with Kevlar material, even combined with sheets with titanium connections, that contained vehicles available to Italian policemen, judges or politicians.
Witnesses: Who knew about the big secret?!
This secret was one of the most jealously guarded by the State Security. One of the directors of the directorates of this weapon was poisoned by his colleagues in the spring of 1991, among other things, to keep this secret. Very high officials of the police of the communist period, who after 1992, were put in the service of the Italian side, knew absolutely nothing about this affair.
This was the reason that they ended up as ordinary monitors of small Albanian criminals in Trieste, who carried out small traffic, with local criminals, such as, by the way, the owners of the firm “Fratelli Zampa s.r.l.”, while from the few who they knew something, they are very few mouths, still able to speak.
The three secrets: Gold, currency and contraband of the dictatorship
Three of the most criminal and secret aspects of the dictatorship are: the disappearance of gold, metals, precious stones and valuables, stolen from the population, the disappearance of a part of the hard currency, provided by the products for export of the Albanian economy, such as and cooperation for symbiotic benefit on four continents, with internationally certified terrorist organizations and organized crime groups, mainly Italian (the Neapolitan Camorra), as well as with structured criminal gangs in the French ports of Sete and Marseille.
The message: This is what was offered to the Albanians
“Friends across the Adriatic, who are supposed to come there for the products we talked about, brought us the prospectuses for the 200 pieces that are required. From the prospectus, it appears that they can only be used by one person and shoot up to 700-800 meters away, with a piercing power of up to 300 mm, resting on the shoulder. got the mole.
The 200 pieces are offered in very secret conditions and without knowing the destination for which they are. A piece costs $3,000, adding here another $150-200 per piece for shipping and handling to the destination. We have only accepted it as an offer and prospectus, without further entering into negotiations.
The specialists, looking for these 200 pieces for us, have received an offer from a Belgian company, for the production of 200,000 small automatic pieces (that the specialists will produce at us) and for us, who have the prospectuses in hand, for 150 dollars apiece, which according to them we are producing here, cost no more than 25 to 300 dollars apiece.
They insist that for the first time, they produce the 200,000 pieces here (then we do as we want) and not to produce them elsewhere, connecting this with the friendship with our friends, these and through them with us and at the same time to show us what they are capable of doing there. Specialists tell us that the 200 pieces you are looking for, we produce them in places and in the time that we need.
We think that the specialists come there as often as they have seen, connecting this with the enthusiasm and passion they have to produce for us. We, during the conversations we are having here, are convinced that these are capable of producing, with the machines we have and that they have seen, many things that we need for protection.
Now they want to come four people and start from work, getting the monthly salary, which they get there to provide for their families, later we will see what they will ask for.
Even for this, we think that they will not exaggerate their demands”.
Telexes with the letters of the Director of Security, Zylyftar Ramizi
Here are the handwritten notes that the former Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs, Zylyftar Ramizi, left to be transmitted to the persons in Switzerland who were negotiating with the “Camorra”. Ramiz’s instructions were transmitted by telex at 21.00 on March 17, 1984, with very few changes, without compromising the content.
This message, which was sent encrypted, is considered as the final approval of the agreement between Sigurimi and “Camorra”, after which cooperation began in the purchase, production and trafficking of various urban guerrilla weapons, in favor of criminal groups, terrorist organizations and organized crime worldwide.
- Order to buy 200 antitanks. We agree that they will be brought under very secret conditions and without destination and without compromising us. Negotiate the price to lower it as much as possible. The anti-tank missiles we are ordering must come to us ready and as soon as possible.
- Also order 200 submachine guns, which you say are $150 a piece, but you have to fight to get the price down. The automatons, too, must come ready, secret, without destination and without compromising us.
- The projects and the 4 specialists, come to Albania to start the work. We will talk more specifically about their conditions, opportunities and abilities when they come here.
- We will make the payments for the orders we said at the right time and through the company that is connecting us with them (Sokomar)”. Memorie.al