Police officer, 30, who worked undercover infiltrating the Albanian mafia but fled to the UK when his cover was blown is spared jail after he was caught selling cocaine for gangsters in London

A former police officer who worked undercover infiltrating the Albanian mafia but then fled to the UK after his cover was blown has been spared jail after he was caught selling cocaine for gangsters in London.

Maurisio Malaj, 30, was working for the Albanian police force when he went undercover and infiltrated the mafia there, a court heard.

Malaj, who had been transferred to a different unit for medical reasons, then fled Albania when crime bosses discovered he was a police officer and torched his father’s car.

He tried to seek asylum in England but was unable to work without settled immigration status after exhausting his savings.

After asking friends for work, he was offered a job delivering cocaine in the City of London for a drug gang, which he took, Inner London Crown Court heard.

Malaj was arrested in Bishopsgate on April 16 this year and remanded in custody.

Rakesh Bhasim, defending for Malaj, said: ‘He was working undercover but the police there are slightly different to the police force here.

‘The police took issue with him and transferred him for a year.

‘He was eventually dismissed after he was absent for three days for medical reasons.

‘Unfortunately, his details were leaked and he received threats and his father’s car was burnt due to arson.

‘That is why he left Albania, to protect his family.

‘He came here with the intention to get honest legitimate work, and given the opportunity, he would work.

Judge Ian Darling, sentencing Malaj, said: ‘You were the endpoint of a distribution line receiving information on your phone, telling you where to go and deliver cocaine.

‘You had a not-insignificant amount of cocaine in your possession but I am satisfied that you undertook this employment for minimal personal gain.

‘It is said, and not disputed, that you were employed by the Albanian police force.

‘It makes the fact that you are standing in the dock in a courtroom in England more shameful.

‘You have betrayed your profession’s ethics.’

Malaj was sentenced to two years imprisonment, suspended for two years, with a requirement to do 200 hours of unpaid work.

Judge Darling added: ‘How your future pans out is not in my control, and ultimately it might not be in yours, but I am giving you a chance to try to rebuild your life and your freedom.’

Shaven-headed Malaj, wearing a green Adidas t-shirt, sighed in relief in the dock and told the judge: ‘Thank you very much, thank you very much.’

Malaj, of no fixed abode, admitted possession with intent to supply cocaine.

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