Greece police crackdown on wide Albania-Turkey drug trafficking network

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times October 1, 2019 09:24

Greece police crackdown on wide Albania-Turkey drug trafficking network

Story Highlights

  • Greek Police spokesman Theodoros Kronopoulos said the operation was a case of a network hit involving drug trafficking and particularly the transportation of crude marijuana from Albania through Greece to Turkey and the transfer of heroin from Turkey to Albania again through Greece using speedboats.

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TIRANA, Oct. 1 – Greek police provided on Tuesday official data on operations against an international drug trafficking network whose members were involved in transporting large quantities of marijuana from Albania through Greece to Turkey in exchange for a quantity of heroin passing through Greece again to Albania.

Attiki Security Director Petros Xheferi told reporters that four members of the network were arrested during the operations and seized 1,172 kg of raw marijuana. 

Whereas the Head Prosecutor against Narcotics and Drug Trafficking Spyridhon Evangelidhis said operations on land, at sea and by air were carried out in cooperation with the Greek Coast Guard, Greek Police and Frontex for hitting high speed boats who trafficked drugs.

Operations according to the prosecutor began on September 25 after the identification of two speedboats trying to transport drugs off the Turkish coast in the Northeast Aegean. 

The first effect was to block one high-speed boat and arrest three Albanian sailors on board. Four days later, according to the prosecutor, the second boat with a person on board was also found.

On September 30, the Greek Coast Guard discovered in a cave on the uninhabited “Piper” island, in the marine area of ​​Sporades, large marijuana quantities, exceeding a ton. 

Greek Police spokesman Theodoros Kronopoulos said the operation was a case of a network hit involving drug trafficking and particularly the transportation of crude marijuana from Albania through Greece to Turkey and the transfer of heroin from Turkey to Albania again through Greece using speedboats.

Investigative data shows a spokesman for the Greek police said that the selection of high speed boats was done to enable the transportation of large quantities of raw marijuana. The boats also had very powerful engines installed to develop very high speeds while also providing fuel tanks so that they could travel long distances and the law enforcement authorities could not stop them.

The network, according to the Greek police spokesman, selected experienced and capable people at sea who navigate very bad weather, possibly with thunderstorms and strong winds over 5-6 feet, to carry the quantities of narcotics. According to a spokesman for the Greek traffickers, most of the raw marijuana is transferred to the Turkish coast and then exchanged with heroin. Greek police said they have discovered communications through the network’s online applications and seized other evidence. Three of those arrested will stand trial in Mitilini, while one of those arrested in Volos. 

Albania-Italy mafia ties pass through Greece 

Similarly, the Italian authorities point out in their reports that the Adriatic is constantly the battle of the Albanian mafia seeking to become the fourth most powerful organization in the neighboring country.

Last week, an Italian prosecutor in a local media interview spoke of a new drug trafficking line, Albania – Puglia – Greece. 

As is often said, “Sacra Corona Unita” increasingly uses this line for drug trafficking.

It is learned that in the center of recent traffic related to Ecuador lies a Greek citizen who until recently was unknown to law enforcement authorities. 

According to the same sources, he is a major importer of exotic fruits and holds large quantities of bananas in Malta brought from Ecuador.

Although Greece is a transit country for international drug cartels, its geographical location is increasingly making it important for drug trafficking elsewhere.

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times October 1, 2019 09:24