Marijuana cultivation in Albanian South is increasing

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times August 6, 2019 10:34

Marijuana cultivation in Albanian South is increasing

Story Highlights

  • Within a week of controls, police have announced three new narcotics cases as cultivation has affected areas of the border with Greece in the remote areas of Përmet, Tepelena, Këlcyra and Memaliaj.

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TIRANA, Aug. 5 – Police operations in Gjirokastra are discovering new sites planted with narcotic plants in southern Albania. 

Within a week of controls, police have announced three new narcotics cases as cultivation has affected areas of the border with Greece in the remote areas of Përmet, Tepelena, Këlcyra and Memaliaj.

For the first time in five years, marijuana cultivation has also recently returned to the village of Lazarat in Gjirokastra, which police raided and where they prosecuted several people. 

Unlike other years, police have not provided details on the number of plants destroyed in many areas, but in some cases have announced that they have banned people accused of cultivating marijuana.

Successive police meetings with local governments this year have also failed to curb marijuana cultivation in the county that is known to be one of the most problematic in the region in recent years.

Most of the marijuana cultivated is trafficked to neighboring Greece because of its proximity to border areas, but also to Italy. 

In July alone, Greek police in Ioannina blocked tens of kilograms of marijuana in the border areas with Albania and arrested 7 people. 

A trafficking attempt was also cracked down in recent days at the Qafbota Border Crossing Point in Saranda, on the Albanian side of the border with Greece, where police seized a large amount of narcotics and arrested a person.

Narcotics trafficking in the region has strengthened criminal groups involved in organizing cultivation and trafficking to neighboring countries. 

Albanian police estimates that narcotics trafficking remains the most widespread cross-border crime in the area between Albania and neighboring Greece. Alongside Albanian border police forces in the area for almost two months, the FRONTEX mission has also been operating with the intent to curb drug and refugee trafficking and cooperate with Albanian authorities to crack down on regional and international trafficking networks.

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times August 6, 2019 10:34