Infobae learned that Dritan Rexhepi left prison at the end of 2021, as he took advantage of a prison benefit that allows him to serve his sentence in freedom
For < /p>Yalilé LoaizaFrom Quito
The Albanian capo Dritan Rexhepi was sentenced to 13 years in prison in Ecuador for the crime of drug trafficking.
Dritan Rexhepi, the Albanian capo who organized a sophisticated structure for the shipment of cocaine from Ecuador to Europe took advantage of pre-release, known as a semi-open regime, in November 2021. This right, which was denied him on previous occasions, forces him to remain in Ecuador until June 26, 2027, when his sentence for drug trafficking ends, but serving his sentence in freedom.
In the resolution of the judge Diego Rafael Poma Chamba, of the Specialized Judicial Unit of Penitentiary Guarantees of Guayaquil, it is detailed that Rexhepi, identified in Ecuador with the names Mutaraj Lulezim or Edmir Kraja, must appear every 15 days before the social reintegration unit of Guayas, and is also prohibited from leaving the country and repeating other crimes.
According to the process published in the Consultation System of the Judicial Function of Ecuador, in the event that Rexhepi fails to comply with the provisions of the judge, he would be declared a fugitive.
According to Balkan Insight, Rexhepi, known as “the king of cocaine”, is the leader of a transnational crime federation of Albanian drug traffickers that has funneled hundreds of millions of euros worth of cocaine from South America to Europe. Rexhepi's operations, which began in 2014 during the government of Rafael Correa and continued during the mandates of Lenín Moreno and Guillermo Lasso, would have continued from jail because he had access to a cell phone, although the authorities denied that the capo had mobile devices in his cell.
The Albanian capo is wanted in Albania, Italy and Belgium. (Europol)
Several Italian court documents identified Rexhepi, now 42, as “the undisputed kingpin” with access to “infinite amounts of cocaine” of Bello Company, a cartel made up of 14 Albanian criminal gangs involved in drug trafficking and which, according to the authorities, had been operating since 2014 in Ecuador, Netherlands, Belgium, Albania and Italy, as published in November 2021 by The Wall Street Journal.
Rexhepi was captured in 2014 in Ecuador and sentenced in 2015 to 13 years in prison for drug trafficking. He was held in a Guayaquil prison and then in the Latacunga prison, 100 kilometers from Quito.
Infobae learned in an unofficial and reserved manner that Rexhepi maintained contact with the country's authorities until January 15 of this year, butthen disappeared. This outlet requested information from the Provincial Court of Guayas on Rexhepi's compliance with the measures provided for in the semi-open regime of his case, however, until the closing of the edition there was no response.
Likewise, Infobaecontacted the public defender who handled Rexhepi's pre-release process, but the lawyer assured that hedoes not remember the details of the case and that he would not be able to report whether the Albanian capo has continued to comply with the provisions of the judicial authorities .
Part of the pre-release process of Dritan Rexhepi, who was granted the prison benefit on November 4, 2021. (Satje)
According to the process, Rexhepi was favored with the semi-open regime for having served at least two-fifths of the sentence imposed . In addition, on November 4, 2021, when the benefit was granted, it is mentioned that the Albanian capo “he has a very good behavior, in addition he does not record an escape attempt, nor has he escaped, likewise there is a work report and certificates of completed course, as well as a social roots has been reliably justified, with which it is clearly allowed to establish that he will have a fixed place to reside.”
According to information from the Judicial Function, Rexhepi assured that he would live in an apartment in the Central Park urbanization in Samborondón, 14 kilometers from Guayaquil. In this private housing complex, a 125 m2 apartment can cost from USD 165,000.
However, according to the process report, on February 10, 2022, the change of address of Rexhepi, but the new address is not indicated.
This is not the first time Dritan Rexhepi has tried to break out of prison. On December 23, 2020, a judge denied the Albanian capo pre-release. At that time, Rexhepi's lawyer was Harrison Salcedo who was gunned down in April of this year in Quito. Salcedo was also a defender of the former correísta vice president Jorge Glas and of José Luis Zambrano, alias Rasquiña, who was the leader of Los Choneros < /b>until he was murdered in December 2020 in a shopping center in Ecuador.
Harrison Salcedo was a lawyer for Dritan Rexhepi, of the former Vice President Jorge Glas and the fallen leader of Los Choneros, José Luis Zambrano.
Rexhepi is wanted by the justice system in Albania, Belgium and < b>Italy for multiple crimes. There are two extradition requests weighing on him, of Albania and Italy. The National Court of Justice of Ecuador ruled that the Albanian will be extradited to his country of origin once he completes his sentence in Ecuador.
The criminal lawyer Pablo Encalada explained to Infobae that the Albanian capo was able to avail himself of pre-release because “there is no legal impediment to granting prison benefits, therefore he had the legal right to be granted pre-release because the penal code in force until August 2014 applied to him.” Encalada added that this “is not fair, but it is legally what corresponded to him“, that is to say that he would have acted in accordance with Ecuadorian law.
When consulted On the possibility that Rexhepi is a fugitive, Encalada assured that in that case Ecuador “would have failed the States requesting extradition”, since the country promised to extradite the Albanian when he has completed his sentence in the country.