Fation Dautai, 36, lost an appeal to the Special Immigration Appeals Commission (SIAC), after his residence card was revoked by the Home Office. It was amid Home Office and National Crime Agency (NCA) claims he denies that he is capable of “extreme violence” and “an influential member” of a London-based Albanian criminal network involved in cocaine importation, cannabis production, people smuggling and money laundering.
An anonymity order, which meant he could only be named as B9, remained in place until today
We can now reveal the alleged gangster with “no financial footprint” in the UK owns a Piano Bar in Albania, where there was an attempted hit on his life in 2013.
Mr Dauti, who is also known as Fation Dautaj, was given temporary residency in 2012, because he was married to an EU national, Latvian national Julija Lopatina, 37.
It became permanent in August 2017, but the Home Office revoked it in September 2019, based on intelligence from the NCA, which was investigating his network, but had been unable to charge him.
Mr Dauti denies involvement in crime and argued during the appeal he just knows socially or was related to several other gang members named in the judgement.
These included cousin Alket Dauti, 33, who was arrested by NCA officers in June 2018 in Penge, south London, two months after meeting Mr Dauti, before being extradited to Belgium in January 2019 to serve a 10-year people smuggling sentence.
In March SIAC judges accepted Home Office and NCA representations that Mr Dauti would remain involved in crime and pose a “serious threat to public security and safety,” if allowed to stay.
The appeal heard he had just one UK bank account, funded by cash payments and limited earnings from a loft company, but enjoyed nightclubs, designer goods and top end vehicles, including a Bentley, Range Rover and Jaguar, hired from a drug dealer’s car rental business.
The appeal heard evidence about an attack on a Bulgarian bouncer outside a nightclub in Seven Sisters in the early hours of October 21 2012, when a doorman was stabbed near the heart, but survived.
CCTV showed Mr Dauti scuffling with the bouncer and he returned to Albania immediately after the attack.
He was arrested and charged with GBH upon his return, but the hearing was told door staff withdrew statements amid claims they feared Mr Dauti and were paid not to cooperate with police.
He appeared at Blackfriars Crown Court charged with GBH in connection with the stabbing in March 2013, but the prosecution was withdrawn due to lack of evidence.
Mr Dauti told the SIAC hearing he was there on the night, but not involved in the stabbing.
He argued the ban causes him and his wife “real distress” and he wishes to resume his life with her in the UK, while he is now in Tirana, Albania, where he owns a Piano Bar.
Photos of Mr Dauti with a Kalashnikov, and an Israeli pistol were found on his phone during a border check at Dover, SIAC heard.
Martin Matthews, NCA Operations Manager, told the hearing in 2017 Mr Dauti was assessed to be the “leader” of the Albanian network.
He said several arrests were made, kilos of cocaine seized and illegal immigrants detained, during investigations into the network, but there was limited admissible evidence to arrest Mr Dauti.
The judgement said: “Mr Matthews described (Dauti) as being identified in 2017 as a subject of interest, being assessed to be the leader, of an ethnic-Albanian Organised Crime Group (OCG) which was actively engaged in drug importation, money laundering and migrant smuggling throughout Europe.
“In August 2017, Mr Matthews became the deputy SIO for the operation involving B9, latterly becoming its SIO.
“The operation not only focussed on B9, but also those assessed to be his criminal associates and members of the wider OGC.
“The exercise proved highly successful with evidence and intelligence gathered pursuant to the investigation directly leading to numerous arrests, the seizure of kilos of Class A drugs and the detention of illegal migrants.
Despite this, however, admissible evidence of B9’s criminal activities, which could lead to his arrest and prosecution was limited.
“The case team therefore sought an alternate strategy to disrupt B9’s criminal activities
“The fact he was able to remain lawfully in the UK was assessed as giving B9 a higher status than other criminals who were present unlawfully.”
Mr Dauti came to the UK aged 14.
After the stabbing case, he briefly returned to Tirana where there was an attempt on his life at the Piano Bar on September 15 2013, when seven shots were fired, with him hit in the leg.
It made front-page news in Albania, with newspapers speculating it was connected to the stabbing, “organised crime activities in London,” or a family blood feud.
At the time, Mr Dauti’s father was in jail for the murder of a man who killed his brother at the time of the shooting.
Two of Mr Dauti’s own brothers had also been murdered before the attack.
Lawyers for Mr Dauti argued that although he was not involved in organised crime, if he were identified, those who are could wrongly believe he was, making him a possible target for genuine criminals with commercial interests in drugs.
The Sunday Express successfully argued organised criminals are only likely to harm or kill rivals who have crossed them by losing them money, through informant activities or part of feuds.
It was also argued it was in the public interest for his identity to be known, due to alleged connections to people smuggling, which could allow him to re-enter the country illegally, and due to his name being on public record in Albania since 2013.
Mr Dauti applied to SIAC to continue his anonymity order, but SIAC chairman Mr Justice Robert Jay lifted it after accepting our representations.
However, Mr Dauti launched an immediate appeal to the Court of Appeal, but provided no further evidence why his life would be in danger, and the court rejected the application today.
Mr Dauti has also launched an appeal bid at the Court of Appeal against the SIAC refusal to allow him back into the country.