Italy, Albania police disrupt drug smuggling network

Rome, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News – 30th Jun, 2020 ) :Italian police said on Tuesday they had disrupted a major international drug trafficking ring between Albania and Italy, seizing 3.5 tonnes of marijuana, cocaine and hashish.

Investigations carried out between March 2017 and January 2019 uncovered a network of Italian and Albanian operators who smuggled drugs from Albania to Italy by land or by boat across the Adriatic to arrive in the southern Italian region of Puglia.

Thirty-seven individuals, both Albanian and Italian, were arrested in Tuesday’s sting, police said in a statement.

Working in conjunction with Albanian colleagues and Italy‘s anti-Mafia body, police said the drugs seized were valued at more than 40 million Euros ($45 million), representing about seven million individual doses.

“It was a big operation, very important, in which we seized tons of marijuana, cocaine and hashish, an operation made possible thanks to the close collaboration we have with Albania,” the head of Italy‘s anti-Mafia body, Federico Cafiero, told a press conference.

Among those held were two smugglers from Albania found to be carrying more than a ton of marijuana. Police also identified a warehouse where 700 kilos (1,540 Pounds) of marijuana was stored, along with Kalashnikov bullets.

In Albania, four million euros worth of property were seized, including 15 apartment buildings, a coffee factory, a beverages distribution company and a restaurant.

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