Albanian authorities have announced that through an operation they have arrested about 38 people for drug trafficking, corruption, abuse of official position and money laundering.
Among those arrested are a prosecutor, a head of a government department and three police officers, the AP reports.
Albania’s Special Structure Against Corruption and Organized Crime, known as the SPAK, said that based on a two-year investigation led by Italy, it was proven that the suspects were part of four international crime groups, mainly involved. in drug trafficking and that they operated in Albania, Italy, Montenegro and Spain.
Twenty-eight of the suspects, including two bodyguards who worked for a former Albanian interior minister, were arrested in Albania.
“Public officials, in some cases drug owners themselves, had guaranteed that narcotics destined for the Italian region of Puglia would arrive there safely either by land or sea,” the statement said.
Albanian authorities will seize assets worth millions of euros from the suspects’ assets, including apartments, other real estate and other businesses.
Albania was once a major European producer of marijuana and a key point of its smuggling.
Seven years ago, the number of cannabis plantations dropped sharply due to a campaign by the authorities, but ongoing operations against drug trafficking show that traffickers are still looking for alternative places to grow or store marijuana and have become part of international trafficking networks. of other stronger narcotics./rel