Around 24 tons of cannabis and 5379 cannabis plants have been captured and destroyed by the police in the last 30 days, showing that the drug cultivation in Albania is far from resolved
- 2 tons of cannabis captured motorboat on the island Kithira, an Albanian and an Italian were arrested;
- 2.5 tons of cannabis captured by the Guardia di Finanza, 30 miles from the coast of Vieste, two Albanians were arrested;
- 156 kg cannabis captured by the Greek police in the luggage of an Albanian;
- 25 kg cannabis captured by the Greek police on the Trikala–Larisa road;
- 55 kg cannabis captured in Tirana;
- 75 kg cannabis captured in Vlora;
- 2.2 tons of cannabis from Albania captured by the Montenegrin police and the Guardia di Finanza;
- 10 kg cannabis captured in the port of Bari in an Albanian car
- 15.3 tons of cannabis discovered in Llakatund, Vlora, on a parcel with 260 cannabis plants;
- 120 cannabis plants destroyed in a forest area in Tropoja;
- 1.3 tons of cannabis captured in Kavaja when transported from one village to another;
- 40 kg cannabis seized by the Vlora police in Drithas;
- 1785 cannabis saplings destroyed by the Shkodra police;
- 32 kg cannabis and 4 kg heroin captured on the border with Montenegro;
- 71 kg cannabis captured in Golem, Gjirokastra;
- 3.25 kg cannabis captured by the Dibra police;
- 4.6 kg cannabis captured in the port of Durrës;
- 15 kg cannabis captured in Përmet;
- 27 kg cannabis captured in Vlora;
- 1,500 cannabis plants destroyed in Gjirokastra;
- 650 cannabis plants destroyed in Gusmar, Tepelena;
- 210 cannabis plants destroyed in Vau i Dejës;
- 507 cannabis plants destroyed in Kruja;
- 227 cannabis plants destroyed in the village Shkreta.
A few weeks ago, Minister of Interior Affairs Dritan Demiraj declared after an aerial inspection that there is no massive cultivation of narcotics except for a few incidental cases which have been tracked down and destroyed. Also Director for Crimes at the State Police Josik Shtëmbari claimed that from January to July 2017, the cultivation of cannabis has dropped 17 times in comparison with the same period last year.
The case of Llakatund, which involved several state officials, as well as the developments of the last few months and the reports of the international community do not seem to support his positive tone.
Only two weeks ago, Prime Minister Edi Rama announced the “beginning of a nationwide action against cannabis,” claiming that the police had a list of 124 people that are suspected of being involved in drug trafficking. This list has still not been made public or transmitted to the Prosecutor-General. As recently as August 4, the Albanian police remained on the sidelines in a large international effort to captured drug traffickers.
After the elections, Prime Minister Rama had declared that this year “we’ll finally put an end to this phenomenon.” But there seems to be much more work needed from the government before that can be a reality.