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Six international mafias have ties to Ecuador

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – The death of a foreigner in Guayaquil caught the attention of the International Police (Interpol). Information from this agency warned that the man of Albanian origin was one of the most important leaders of drug trafficking to Europe and part of Asia.

His criminal record was so hidden that there was no record in Ecuador, nor was he required by the justice system. For this reason, the uniformed officers indicate that he walked freely through the streets of Guayaquil. The night of his death, he was in a restaurant in the city’s north. He was intercepted by assassins who shot him with more than 20 shots.

Read also: Check out our coverage on Ecuador

Now, investigations indicate that the man was one of the links between the Albanian and Russian mafias in South America.

Official reports from Social Rehabilitation indicate that there are at least 3,330 foreigners detained from more than 14 countries in Ecuador. Most of them were arrested for drug-related offenses or criminal acts (Photo internet reproduction)

These macro criminal organizations have been detected in recent years in Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru. Anti-narcotics agents confirm this reality and point out that they are emissaries sent by the mafia bosses to manage routes, suppliers, and all the logistics of transporting and shipping shipments.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, Colombian investigators indicate that Colombian drug traffickers quadrupled cocaine production, which opened up new connections with mafias on all continents. Other alliances dating back to the 1980s and 1990s have also been reestablished. The Colombian police also have reports related to these organizations.

Ecuador plays a vital role in the shipment, as it is one of the countries through which alkaloid shipments pass. For this reason, in 2021, the police seized more than 210 tons of drugs, the highest figure in the country’s history.

Intelligence agencies have discovered that not only Colombian and Mexican mafias are behind these shipments. Organizations from Central America and Brazil also figure in the data.

Official reports from Social Rehabilitation indicate that there are at least 3,330 foreigners detained from more than 14 countries in Ecuador. Most of them were arrested for drug-related offenses or criminal acts.

In 2021, the police arrested essential members of the mafias. One of them was Brayan Rodríguez, an alleged member of the Mexican Sinaloa cartel last November in Quito, wanted by the United States.

His extradition was approved on January 13. Anti-narcotics agents told this newspaper that his capture was carried out under an intelligence follow-up and cross-checking of information with the United States.

In December, Interpol also registered in its systems the murder of another Albanian citizen in Samborondón. The international foundation InSight Crime gathered part of the facts and in a report pointed out that the foreigner was also a nexus of European and Asian mafias.

“Ecuador’s attraction is part of a more general trend in which the country’s ports are used to ship huge volumes of cocaine to Europe,” the foundation said. Hence, international reports indicate that these organizations also have cells dedicated to hired assassinations and murders in charge.

In fact, some of these small groups have established themselves in the south of the city. The dispute over territories has caused the levels of violence to increase to such an extent that in Guayaquil this month there are more than 70 crimes, twice as many as in January 2021.

The recent shooting in Guasmos, which left five dead, was generated by the war between gangs allied to Mexican and European cartels. For this reason, the police have initiated a strong police guard in 28 areas considered critical in Guayas. Part of the security strategy is to strengthen the intelligence corps to detect the links and leaders of international mafias.

Drug trafficking and contract killings are not the only illegal businesses that international mafias have in Ecuador. The police have reported on gangs from Europe that have engaged in money laundering, migrant smuggling and loan sharking.

For example, last October, agents arrested two Russian nationals in Manabí who were wanted by Interpol. In Ecuador, the foreigners set up a real estate company with assets in Manta and Quito. In this way they brought in illegal money from other countries to launder it.

The Financial Analysis Unit was also part of this investigation. The entity, in recent months, has tracked more people of other nationalities with unusual movements.

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