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Albanian, Italian Authorities Conclude Operation Against Drug Gang

Balkan Insight

Albania’s Special Prosecution, SPAK, in collaboration with Bergamo prosecutors in Italy have announced the conclusion of an operation that resulted in the seizure of large amounts of drugs in Italy.

The criminal group responsible for the drug-running was led by three Albanians, according to the special prosecutor. Twenty other persons face trial as part of this criminal group.

Their activities were carried out both in Italy and Albania, especially in the Albanian port city of Durres – whose port is considered a hot spot for cocaine trafficking – and it is believed that the criminal activity started in 2015.

During the operation, 120 kilograms of cocaine, 15 kilograms of pure heroin, as well as 129 kilograms of marijuana and 92 kilograms of hash, were seized in Italy in different episodes.

“The criminal activity of this group developed from 2015 onwards and developed in Albania, mainly in Durrës, as well as in various cities in Italy, such as Bergamo, Brescia, Milan, Turin, etc., places where the transportation and the trade in narcotics were carried out,” SPAK said on Thursday in a press statement.

“The necessary evidence has been collected from the joint investigations, which creates a reasonable suspicion that this criminal group was created and directed by three Albanian citizens (B.L, G.B and E.M), who coordinated actions between them for the management of the criminal group,” it continued.

Large-scale drugs seizures are not unusual in Albania. Police have found large quantities of cocaine several times in recent years at the Port of Durrës.

In November last year, Albanian authorities in collaboration with Montenegrin authorities announced the seizure of 430 kilograms of cocaine. In June last year 45.5 kilogram of cocaine was seized in a container at Durres port.

On June 18, 2021, about 300 kg of suspected cocaine was found inside a truck coming from North Macedonia. In 2018, Albanian police found more than 613 kilograms of heroin hidden in a banana container coming from Colombia. The drugs were transiting from Malta and Italy.

Source : Balkan Insight