Dozens arrested in trans-Balkan anti-drug operation

By bne IntelliNews July 8, 2016

Thirty people, including 14 Albanian citizens, were arrested in an international anti-drug operation conducted in Albania, Macedonia, Greece and Bulgaria, while 23 others are wanted, the police in Tirana said on July 7.

One of the Albanian government's priorities is the fight against illegal narcotics. In its March 2016 report, the US State Department said that Albania remains a major source country for the production of marijuana and a transit point for shipments of cocaine and heroin on its way to European markets.

The state police announced in the statement that in cooperation with partners in Kosovo, Macedonia, Serbia, Bulgaria, Turkey and Italy, the international operation, dubbed Balkan, which began in 2015, has been finalised.

The investigation was focused on a criminal group involved in trafficking of heroin, cocaine and marijuana, which was active in several countries in the region, 

During the investigation, the police found the suppliers of narcotics in Turkey, who through intermediaries from Turkey and Kosovo, delivered the narcotics to Kosovo, Albania and then to Greece and other European countries. A branch of this group also shipped marijuana from Albania to Macedonia, Greece and Turkey.

Among those arrested in Albania, several are businessmen involved in the construction sector. They include Jurgen Molla, co-owner of the construction firm Molla, and Nuredin Nazeraj, an owner of a luxury hotel in the coastal city of Vlore. Shyqyr Kotorri and Anesti Koromani are investors in construction projects, the police said.

According to Albanian broadcaster Oranews, police sized 26.6 kilograms of heroin during the operation.

In September 2015, Albanian Interior Minister Saimir Tahiri declared that 99.2% of cannabis grown in the country, about 690,000 plants spread over 44 hectares identified by aerial maps, had been destroyed. However, according to a report by BIRN, cannabis cultivation remains widespread.

The US and the European Union are continuing to provide help to Albania to improve its capabilities in the fight against narcotics. 

Related Articles

Six Albanian ministers to leave their posts under deal between government and opposition

Six ministers in Albania’s Socialist-led government will be replaced with technical ministers as part of the agreement reached between Prime Minister Edi Rama and opposition leader Lulzim ... more

Albania postpones general election by one week to June 25

Albania will now hold a general election on June 25 instead of June 18, following the agreement reached between  Prime Minister Edi Rama from the Socialist Party and the leader of ... more

RBI doubles net profit y/y in Q1 as Russian business recovers

Raiffeisen Bank International (RBI), the second largest bank operating across Central and Eastern Europe by assets, reported that net profit almost doubled year-on-year to €220mn in the first ... more

Register here to continue reading this article and 2 more for free or purchase 12 months full website access including the bne Magazine for just $119/year.

Already a subscriber or registered - click here to recover access.

If you a IntelliNews Pro user - click here to login.

Thank you. Please complete your registration by confirming your email address.
A confirmation email has been sent to the email address you provided.

To continue viewing our content you need to complete the registration process.

Please look for an email that was sent to with the subject line "Confirmation bne IntelliNews access". This email will have instructions on how to complete registration process. Please check in your "Junk" folder in case this communication was misdirected in your email system.

Already a subscriber or registered - click here to recover access.

If you a IntelliNews Pro user - click here to login.

If you have any questions please contact us at sales@intellinews.com

Subscribe to bne IntelliNews website and magazine

Subscribe to bne IntelliNews website and monthly magazine, the leading source of business, economic and financial news and commentary in emerging markets.

Your subscription includes:
  • Full access to the bne content daily news and features on the website
  • Newsletters direct to your mailbox
  • Print and digital subscription to the monthly bne magazine
  • Digital subscription to the weekly bne newspaper

Already a subscriber or registered - click here to recover access.

If you a IntelliNews Pro user - click here to login.

bne IntelliNews
$119 per year

All prices are in US dollars net of applicable taxes.

If you have any questions please contact us at sales@intellinews.com

Register for free to read bne IntelliNews Magazine. You'll receive a free digital subscription.

Already a subscriber or registered - click here to recover access.

If you a IntelliNews Pro user - click here to login.

Thank you. Please complete your registration by confirming your email address.
A confirmation email has been sent to the email address you provided.

IntelliNews Pro offers daily news updates delivered to your inbox and in-depth data reports.
Get the emerging markets newswire that financial professionals trust.

"No day starts for my team without IntelliNews Pro" — UBS

Thank-you for requesting an IntelliNews Pro trial. Our team will be in contact with you shortly.

Dismiss