'Kingpin' in Albanian mafia arrested in Toronto
A man wanted by the FBI and described by police as a "kingpin in the Albanian mafia" was arrested Thursday in Toronto.
Toronto police say the fugitive squad arrested Kujtim (Timmy) Lika on Thursday morning through a joint investigation between city police and the Canada Border Services Agency.
Lika was arrested in the area of Eglinton Avenue and Mt. Pleasant Road, where police say he had been hiding out.
He had been featured on the U.S. television show America’s Most Wanted.
Police say Lika, 47, is wanted for alleged offences related to organized crime and conspiracy to distribute narcotics.
Toronto police Det. Rick Mooney told CBC News his team got a tip on Wednesday that led them to Lika's modest apartment.
Mooney said Lika appeared dishevelled and was obviously "not living high on the hog anymore."
The America's Most Wanted website says the FBI identified Lika as an Albanian illegal immigrant from the former Yugoslavian republic of Macedonia.
Toronto police helped the FBI nab Lika's accomplice Myfit (Mike) Dika, who was arrested in Toronto in 2010. They have been looking for Lika ever since.
Mooney told CBC News an investigation into Albanian organized crime began in the U.S. in 2005.
Named "Operation Black Eagle" after the two-headed eagle on the Albanian flag, the operation focused largely on Lika and Dika.
Investigators allege the pair shipped everything from heroin and guns to bootleg sneakers around the world.
They managed to evade a 2009 mass arrest of fellow gang members in New Jersey and fled to Canada.
Dika is being held in Toronto where he has been fighting extradition for two years.
With files from The Canadian Press