IT will go down as one of the largest international money-laundering probes in recent years.
Over 600 police from at least five national crime agencies have united to bring down one of Europe’s key mafia bosses.
Based out of Mallorca, Bashkim Osmani had run his global drug smuggling empire, which is suspected of laundering at least €30 million over more than a decade.
Until this week, when the 55-year-old Kosovan was finally snared at a hotel in Croatia in a co-operation between Spain’s Guardia Civil and Policia Nacional.
His family meanwhile, including his wife and father, were picked up at their stunning €5 million mansion overlooking Andratx.
Agencies including the FBI and the UKs National Crime Agency are probing the millions he has invested in real estate, artworks, and high-end cars.
A total of 18 properties were raided in Mallorca and Formentera, with €200,000 in cash and €40,000 in cryptocurrencies seized, along with several luxury watches.
One of the locations raided was the Ritzy restaurant, in Portals.
A dozen firearms, ten kilos of cocaine and 13 high-end vehicles were impounded in the raids that also took place in Belgium.
His operation amassed a fortune from a lucrative narcotics operation that imported cocaine from South America.
He also made millions from a property empire that included hotels, restaurants, villas and casinos.
Osmani is believed to have had high end contacts in the Croatian government, including the former head of the Croatian secret service.
In Belgium, where he also had major contacts, police arrested 30 people and seized €1.3 million in cash.
He is now being held in a maximum security prison in Croatia, while he awaits transfer to Mallorca, which was the hub of his operation.
It was here, on the island, that he hosted at least 10 ‘summits’ for international crime networks for years.
Guests comprised a series of prominent figures from the European mafia world who would stay in luxury hotels in Calvia.
Investigators claim it is ‘crucial’ that he is brought to Mallorca and fear that he would receive ‘preferential treatment’ from the Croatian authorities, should he be tried there.
His lawyer released a statement saying Osmani ‘hopes to be transferred to Spain as soon as possible’ and that he considers the accusations to be ‘completely unfounded’.
Presently, no date has been set for his extradition.
Osmani and his brother Burim have become notorious entrepreneurs, both in Germany, where one arm of their network is based, and in the Balearics.
In 2008, both brothers were arrested by a task force for laundering millions of euros.
Osmani was sentenced to several years in prison, but later was released and fined €900,000.
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