Guns ‘smug­gled through Greece’ for ISIS

Al­ba­nian arms racket be­lieved to be sup­ply­ing Ji­hadists ac­tive in Syria

Kathimerini English - - Front Page -

Greek po­lice are in­ves­ti­gat­ing re­ports ac­cord­ing to which crim­i­nal rings are trans­port­ing weapons from Al­ba­nia to Ji­hadists in­volved in Is­lamic State ac­tiv­i­ties in Syria via Greece, Kathimerini un­der­stands.

The probe was launched fol­low­ing the ar­rest of eight mem­bers of a sus­pected gun-run­ning racket near Dur­res, on the Al­ba­nian coast, last Fri­day, and fol­low­ing re­ports in the neigh­bor­ing coun­try’s me­dia in­di­cat­ing that Greece is on the smug­gling route for the Syria-bound arms.

A raid by Al­ba­nian po­lice last week on a hide­out in the town of Shi­jak re­sulted in the ar­rest of eight sus­pects, aged be­tween 18 and 44, and the seizure of a large weapons cache com­pris­ing six Kalash­nikov as­sault ri­fles, a Sko­r­pion subma- chine gun, six pis­tols, five hand grenades, two ri­fles and some 12,000 rounds of am­mu­ni­tion, ac­cord­ing to sources. In a state­ment after the raid, a spokesman for the Al­ba­nian po­lice said the sus­pects are be­lieved to be mem­bers of an in­ter­na­tional gun-run­ning racket smug­gling arms to Ji­hadists in Syria.

The ap­par­ent Greek con­nec­tion was men­tioned in Al­ba­nian me­dia re­ports, which cited lo­cal po­lice of­fi­cials, and main­tained that some of the arms were smug­gled through Greece. One al­leged mem­ber of the racket, iden­ti­fied as Clirim X., aged 39, has been con­victed in Greece for armed rob­bery in the past, ac­cord­ing to the re­ports. The 39-yearold is be­lieved to be a key mem­ber of the racket.

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