Albania premier asks EU for help seizing gang crime profits

Albania's prime minister wants European Union countries for support in cracking down on criminal gangs that profit from drug sales, prostitution, human trafficking and other illicit activities.

Prime Minister Edi Rama said in a letter to the 28 EU members said gang leaders need to be arrested, convicted and have their assets accrued through criminal activity confiscated.

Rama wrote in the letter shared with The Associated Press on Monday: "We want your help and offer ours in return, to catch these people and bring them to justice."

Fighting organized crime and especially drug trafficking is a key challenge for Albania. The country has been a NATO member since 2009 and was granted EU candidate status in 2014. It hopes to launch membership negotiations next year.