Dictator’s grandson gets 10 years for cocaine trafficking

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times July 14, 2017 08:50

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  • The court also handed out sentences ranging from 10 to 13 years to eight other members of the group

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Serious Crimes Court building in Tirana. (Photo: Wikimapia)

Serious Crimes Court building in Tirana. (Photo: Wikimapia)

TIRANA, June 12 – Albania’s Serious Crimes Court has given a 10-year prison sentence to Ermal Hoxha, the grandson of former communist dictator Enver Hoxha, for his involvement in a cocaine trafficking group.

The court also handed out sentences ranging from 10 to 13 years to eight other members of the group, including two citizens of Colombia.

All were members of what prosecutors and the media had labeled as “Xibraka Group” after the place in central Albania, where they were found to have stored large amounts of cocaine to be later shipped to Western Europe.

Hoxha, 42, and the others were arrested in January 2015 and were found guilty of creating an organized criminal group that had imported large amounts of cocaine into the country to later be shipped to Germany.

A large facility Xibraka in Labinot area of Elbasan County served as a holding and processing center.

The bust, prosecutors said, marked the largest amount of cocaine ever seized in Albania, about 100 kilograms in total. Most of the cocaine, in both cut and concentrate form, was found in the warehouse in Elbasan County, close to Albania’s main East-West highway.

In addition, approximately 18 kilos of cocaine and about €340,000 were found in the car of one of the Albanian men arrested.

This was a well-structured group with international ties ranging from Latin America to the Balkans, and Western Europe as a destination, according to police.

The group was able to secure the narcotics, which were then processed to extract pure cocaine, which was then marketed in the local and international markets, authorities said at the time.

As part of the processing portion, the organization had hired two Colombians who were also arrested and imprisoned.

Albanian police were first alerted to the drug network by their counterparts in Germany, the country that appears to have been the main destination for the finished product, with raw materials originating from Latin America, arriving in Albania mixed in palm oil used for commercial cooking.

Police were on the trail of the criminal group for several months, before they found enough information through wiretapping to move on the accused criminals, local media reported.

 

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times July 14, 2017 08:50