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MILAN/3: THE VERY REAL FOREIGN 'PULP FICTION'

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In a city flooded with drugs there is room for everyone. Foreign mafias, too, have been dipping their hands in the sizable drug market of Milan. But in the narcotics business, when something goes wrong, you don't go to a lawyer. You kill. And it happens quite frequently.

In the very real Pulp fiction of the foreigners in Milan, a warning was given on the 18th of May 2013, at Locate Triulzi - a knee-capping: Edmondo Leti, an Albanian with a criminal record, was injured.

A few months earlier, on the night of October 16th, 2012 Ndue Bruka and Alban Medha were killed with shots from a hand gun and a rifle loaded with buckshot. Maurizio Archinito, a twenty-year-old from Magenta, was arrested for the double murder. Scene of the slaughter: the crossroads of Via Mazzini and via Libia, in downtown Abbategrasso.

The Albanian Mafia has been active in Milan for two decades, and for two decades it has been shooting – without scruple.
In 1997 three killers put an end to Jemal Kumbaro, a 28-year-old who had been hospitalized with gunshot wounds at the San Paolo hospital. “A professional job,” one investigator recalls. The hit men took advantage of the visiting hours to gain access to the Orthopedic ward, on the sixth floor. Then they gunned down their fellow countryman with handguns equipped with silencers.
Another important settling of scores took place in 2007: Alekso Tachi gets the worst of it, condemned to death for having diverted 20 kilograms of heroin from a batch that had just arrived in Milan. The Police later picked up Fatos Xharosa and Zamir Matoshi, identified as the assassins who killed Tachi, and tried to cut up his body with a chainsaw after having subjected him to an interrogation-come-torture in an apartment on via Corti.

On January 14, 2012 a group of Albanians step on the toes of the 'ndrangheta (the mafia from Calabria). Sali Kutelli is followed and killed on the streets of Casorate Primo, apparently because of disputes over the handling of drug sales in the provinces of Pavia and Milan. The ensuing investigation points to two suspected killers: Alessandro Notarangelo and Giuseppe Trimboli - the latter from a well-known Calabrian family.

The Chinese, on the other hand, are more careful when doing business with Italian criminals, but decidedly unscrupulous when it comes to their fellow countrymen.

In Milan the so-called “Brescia Group” is very active. It manages a traffic of ketamines and ecstasy, imported from the Netherlands and Spain. Hu Jinshuang, also known as Laotou, has tried to unite various gangs of his countyrmen into a federation, weaving a network that leads to the Queen Club on via Carducci, the headquarters of the organization.
The Milan campaign, for the Brescia gang, reached its peak in May 2009, when, in a bar on via Paolo Sarpi, in the heart of Milan's Chinatown, Yu Wenqiang is knifed. This is a watershed episode. From then on, investigators start paying much closer attention to the Chinese gangs. Recently they have discovered that, on the sidelines, some Filipinos are also dealing in drugs. They are specialized in methamphetamines, in shabu, as they call what is otherwise known as crystal meth. They, too, have no shortage of internal conflicts, and last year three Filipinos were arrested for the killing of one of their countrymen - a killing that was attributable to disputes over the peddling of drugs.

The latest phenomenon to emerge is the gangs of South American kids. They are the children of Ecuadorians, Colombians, Peruvians. Their young age doesn't make them any less dangerous. The pandillas - as their organizations are called - are getting more and more involved in drug dealing, and according to analysts, the use of violence that characterizes the modus operandi of these gangs will soon reach a level similar to what we have seen up to now (mainly aimed at rivals or other kids) on the stage of renowned criminal organizations.

Albanians, Chinese, Filipinos, North Africans, South Americans and lest we forget, the Bulgarian gangs and bosses (as attested by Georg Atanasov Todorov's leadership, together with his wife who was arrested with him, Kirilova Miroslavs Stoichkkva, of a multiethnic organization) and various Rumanian groups. Milano is a multi-lingual city, even when it is the criminals who are doing the talking.

November 2, 2013