U.S. Embassy Statement

U.S. Embassy Tirana

The U.S. Embassy in Tirana welcomes yesterday’s conviction of five people for human smuggling. The criminal organization they are a part of is responsible for the illegal entry of over 600 Albanian citizens into the United States during the brief time it was in operation. It exploited the hopes and dreams of would-be migrants, placing them at great risk while generating over $15 million in criminal proceeds.

Yesterday’s conviction is the result of a multi-agency investigation led by the State Department’s Bureau of Diplomatic Security in close cooperation with Albanian State Police and the Albanian Serious Crimes Prosecution Office.

Migrant smuggling is a serious offense and the United States is committed to prosecuting smugglers to the fullest extent of U.S. and Albanian law. Using the services of a human smuggler to reach the United States is illegal, and places would-be migrants at great risk of exploitation and danger.