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News 06 Nov 17

FBI to Help Albania's New Crime Task Force

Albania is to establish a new special anti-crime police task force that will work with the FBI and other foreign police forces in the war against grave crime and the drugs trade. 

Fatjona Mejdini
BIRN
Tirana
Albanian PM Edi Rama. Photo: kryeministria.al

Albania on Monday will announce the formation of a special anti-crime task force within the police, which will work on partly secret operations with US FBI agents.

The secretive part of these operations will be shared only with other local and international law enforcement agencies included as partners in the process.

Socialist Prime Minister Edi Rama on Sunday said it formed part of the second phase of the war against narcotics, after a report by the police and its Italian counterparts said the country was being cleansed of cannabis cultivation.

Rama said a FBI agent with a good background in economic crimes was due in Tirana within a week. He also announced that Italian and German police agents will take part in the operations.

He said that Albania had worked hard to unite the best local and international human resources to this new phase of the war against crime.

"We have worked for three months preparing this special new task force, named 'Power of Law' ... that is going to be the most intensive, long-lasting, anti-organised crime operation," Rama said. The operation would also reveal the true relationship between politics and crime, he noted.

Rama said the anti-crime drive was connected to the long-awaited wider judicial reform process, although the establishment of some of the most important bodies in this process, tasked with fighting crime and high-level corruption, has been delayed.

Rama's government has come under fire lately for links to crime as the result of an investigation started by the serious crimes prosecution office against former Interior Minister and Socialist MP Saimir Tahiri.

Prosecutors say they suspect that Tahiri was involved in drug trafficking while he was a minister, aiding a drugs smuggling ring directed by his cousins.

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