The Albanian police arrested 28 people suspected of drug trafficking, money laundering and corruption, including current and former officials, in a joint international operation with Italian authorities. 10 more people were arrested in Italy, Montenegro and Spain as part of the joint operation coordinated by Eurojust, the EU Agency for Criminal Justice Cooperation.
Prosecutor of Vlora Maksim Sota, and two former security details of former Minister of Interior Saimir Tahiri are among those arrested, the Special Prosecution against Organized Crime (SPAK) announced on Friday.
Charges against the two former police officers relate crimes committed in 2016, at a time when cannabis cultivation in Albania was widespread.
The then minister Saimir Tahiri has also been under investigation for drug trafficking but a first instance court exonerated him from charges. His case is awaiting retrialafter a decision of an appeals court.
SPAK said the investigation has been ongoing for several years, resulting in 6 tons of drugs seized, which amount to €55 million in market value. Also, 12 real estate units, 4 companies and several cars are expected to be seized.