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Albania Arrests Over 200, Targeting Drug-Dealing Near Schools

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Albania’s authorities on Thursday declared that in an operation conducted all over the country they had arrested 233 people and declared another 88 others wanted for distributing and using drugs near schools.

The police operation resulted in the seizure of hundreds of kilos of cannabis as well as heroin and cocaine.

Head of State Police Muhament Rrumbullaku said the operation was designed to create more security at schools and prevent the trading, distribution or the use of narcotics near schools by crime groups or individuals with previous criminal records.

“In these eight months, 829 kilograms of cannabis, a part of it processed in the form of chocolate, 61.5 kilograms of heroin, 15.5 kilograms of cocaine, 5.2 kilograms of ecstasy were seized,” Rrumbullaku said.

He added that during the eight months, 170 proactive investigations were referred by the police for the crime of “production and sale of narcotics and trafficking of narcotics, of which 38 proactive investigations were finalized”.

In total, “1,541 citizens were arrested, investigated and prosecuted for selling narcotics in the vicinity of schools, in night clubs, bars, residential blocks and coastal areas in tourist areas,” he added.

Minister of Interior Taulant Balla said: “23 criminal networks have been destroyed and a dangerous source of damage to the health of young people has been neutralized.”

Media reported that a police officer from Elbasan was among those arrested.

The Police Supervision Agency for Elbasan-Korçë Region also said on Thursday that a police officer was arrested. “He is suspected of having committed the crime of ‘Abuse of duty’, ‘Passive corruption of persons exercising public functions’, ‘Unauthorized possession and production of weapons, explosive weapons and ammunition’ and ‘Production and sale of narcotics’,” it said.

In June, Albanian police conducted an anti-drugs operation that had resulted in 45 people being arrested while seven more were declared wanted in Elbasan, a city known for its high presence of crime groups – and for their impunity.

In July, an operation led by police and the Special Prosecution Against Corruption and Organized Crime, SPAK, netted senior law enforcement officials among those accused of murder, drug trading and other high crimes.

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