Drug bust puts Ti­rana in spotlight

Po­lice say tons of hashish mov­ing from Al­ba­nia into rest of Europe via Greece

Kathimerini English - - Front Page -

More than 15 tons of hashish stored in ware­houses in Al­ba­nia has been ear­marked for dis­tri­bu­tion to Cen­tral and Western Europe, se­nior anti-nar­cotics sources told Kathimerini yesterday af­ter au­thor­i­ties un­rav­eled an­other net­work this week that traf­ficked drugs from the neigh­bor­ing coun­try.

The same sources said they ex­pect Euro­pean Union gov­ern­ments and se­cu­rity au­thor­i­ties to har­den their stance to­ward Al­ba­nian Prime Min­is­ter Edi Rama, who was ac­cused last sum­mer by the coun­try’s op­po­si­tion leader Sali Ber­isha of be­ing soft on cannabis cul­ti­va­tors. Speak­ing in the Al­ba­nian Par­lia­ment in June, Ber­isha blasted the gov­ern­ment for al­legedly turn­ing a blind eye to the pro­lif­er­a­tion of cannabis farms.

Af­ter the con­fis­ca­tion by au­thor­i­ties of 260 ki­los of hashish, found in an in­ter­na­tional trans­port truck bound for Dort­mund in Ger­many at the port of Igoumenitsa in north­west­ern Greece on Mon­day, se­nior po­lice of­fi­cials said the Ger­man po­lice will have a more ac­tive role to play in the on­go­ing in­ves­ti­ga­tions.

Apart from the ar­rests of three sus­pects in Igoumenitsa and Thes- sa­loniki on Mon­day night, Ger­man po­lice ar­rested a Greek na­tional who had trav­eled to Ger­many to pick up the 260 ki­los of hashish, which is an ex­tract of the cannabis plant.

Greek po­lice said the drugs had been im­ported from Al­ba­nia and were stored at the fa­cil­i­ties of an im­port-ex­port com­pany near Thes­sa­loniki.

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