“You’re dead, we know where you are”, they wrote on Facebook to Valerio Cataldi (Rai3) after the broadcast of the program on Tirana and the links of the Albanian organised crime syndicates with the ‘Ndrangheta for drug trafficking
The journalist Valerio Cataldi, a correspondent for Rai 3 and president of the Carta di Roma Association, received death threats and insults on social networks. It all began on August 7th 2019, the day the episode of his documentary “Narcotica”, an investigation into international drug trafficking, dealing with the trafficking in Albania was broadcast. The threats arrived in the private messaging chat of his Facebook profile from accounts with Albanian names although they are probably fictitious identities.
THREATS – “Watch your back. You are dead. Watch out. We know where you are ” is one of the most menacing threats that the journalist received from a user who, as a profile photo, chose a sniper rifle.
Cataldi told Ossigeno that the threats became more insistent after he returned to Albania, as a special correspondent , after the earthquake that shocked the country on November 26th 2019. After publicising the incident the reporter is now considering making a formal complaint. Meanwhile, he has received expressions of solidarity from the professional institutions of journalists.
NARCOTICA – The investigative documentary made by Valerio Cataldi for Rai 3 is a journey of five episodes along the drug trafficking routes. Prosecutor Nicola Gratteri and some investigators reported how their investigations have uncovered the ‘Ndrangheta’s dealings with South American drug traffickers.
The fourth episode of Narcotica shone the spotlight on Albania. The production of marijuana and on the emerging organised crime syndicates in that country now rival the ‘Ndrangheta for the flows of cocaine from South America. In this episode, Valerio Cataldi interviews the prosecutor Francesco Mandoi, who lives in Tirana, and coordinates the investigations into trafficking, acting as a link with Italy. He then interviews the former director of the Albanian state police, who talks about corruption and a “crime that has managed to penetrate into state organisations . The police are unable to effectively target the crime because until two years ago the policemen themselves worked with the criminals.” He continues by reporting on investigations for drug trafficking also against police chiefs and the former interior minister of the Albanian government, whose name, even before becoming a minister, was associated with drug trafficking by his relatives.
After the broadcast of the episode, the Albanian Prime Minister, Edvin Rama, also harshly attacked the Italian journalist, defining his report “junk journalism, pure invention”.