Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama asked the European Union (EU) for assistance in fighting crime and cracking down on criminal gangs that are serving as a catalyst for the sale of drugs, prostitution, human trafficking and other illegal activities.
In a letter to the 28 countries of the European Union that was sent on Monday, PM Rama said that it was necessary to arrest, convict and bring to justice all gang leaders, as well as to confiscate their property acquired through illicit activities.
In the letter which was published by the Associated Press (AP), the Albanian PM wrote: "We want your help and offer ours in return, to catch these people and bring them to justice."
Fighting organized crime and drug trafficking in particular are key challenges for Albania, the AP reported. Albania joined NATO in 2009, and in 2014 it was granted the status of an EU candidate country in 2014.
Albania is hoping to start accession talks with the EU next year.