Series of murders raise concerns over crime situation in Shkodra

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times September 3, 2018 09:55

Series of murders raise concerns over crime situation in Shkodra

Story Highlights

  • 31-year-old Arjan Feracaku was shot with an automatic gun on the outskirts of the city while he was strolling with some of his relatives. In context of the murder investigation, police have escorted 30 people for interrogation, but so far have not provided details about the murder and its perpetrators. The first doubts are linked to clashes between criminal groups in this city, or any quarrels stemming from these groups.

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TIRANA, Sept. 3 – The murder of a businessman on Saturday afternoon in the city of Shkodra has raised concerns over the crime situation in this city, the largest in northern Albania.

31-year-old Arjan Feracaku was shot with an automatic gun on the outskirts of the city while he was strolling with some of his relatives. In context of the murder investigation, police have escorted 30 people for interrogation, but so far have not provided details about the murder and its perpetrators. The first doubts are linked to clashes between criminal groups in this city, or any quarrels stemming from these groups.

Feracaku’s murder has raised the number of people killed this month in Shkodra to six. Two other people are also missing with no trace over the last ten days. The police have failed to identify or arrest the perpetrators for none of these serious criminal events – a fact that has shaken the security of citizens and businesses in Shkodra.

In mid-July, the city of Shkodra was shocked by a double murder – that of former police officer Boran Bërcanja and the woman he lived with. Although their two-year-old son was also in the car where they were executed,  23 bullets of an MP5 weapon were shot on them. The crime scene, filmed by a nearby building’s security camera, testifies to a professional killer who has not yet been identified by the police.

Among the six dead last month in Shkodra is 53-year-old Fatbardh Lici, a well-known person in town who was executed on August 10, in a cafe near his apartment in the city’s Kiras neighborhood. His brother, Mustafa Lici, who has been staying inside the house for the last three weeks, accused the government and the police of being linked with criminal groups on Monday.

The series of murders in Shkodra was warned this January following a failed explosive attack on businessman Lulzim Kulla, a well-known figure in the crime scene in Shkodra. Explosive matter, located on a motorbike near his car, seriously injured Kulla, who survived the wounds.

After the latest assassination, Interior Minister Fatmir Xhafaj, speaking of the “Force of Law” operation, stated that three criminal groups were identified in Shkodra, one of whom was hit by police for exercising prostitution. But since then neither the police nor the interior ministry have identified the other two criminal groups in public, nor have they managed to target them.

The opposition has blamed the government of being guilty of the situation and alleged its connection with the criminal groups in Shkodra. Head of the opposition’s Democratic Party Lulzim Basha, one day before the businessman’s murder Feracaku, during a press conference, said that Shkodra is under the power of the crime, due to a deal between the government with the mafia for the upcoming local elections in a city which, traditionally, has been ruled by Democrats.

Following these accusations, the Albanian police launched an important operation in Shkodra with the help of special forces, for the detection and capturing of the criminal groups suspected to have authored some of the criminal events that have occured in the North’s capital over the last three months, shaking its order and security.

 

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times September 3, 2018 09:55