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Police in the southern city of Gjirokastra sequestered nearly 3.7 tones of cannabis on Friday evening in three different operations.
|Police collecting sack of cannabis from impounded oil tanker | Photo by : Telnis Skuqi|
Nearly 3,360 kilograms of cannabis were seized at the border post of Kakavije with Greece, hidden in an oil tanker, while the rest of the drugs was detained in two other operations in Gjirokastra.
“The drugs were found in the tanker of a local company named Laerti Trans, based in Kruja [in central Albania],” the police said in a statement. “The driver of the truck has been arrested,” the statement added.
The drugs had been divided into 300 hundreds sacks, hidden in the secret compartments of the oil tanker.
Part of the drugs is believed to have originated in the lawless village of Lazarat, a no-go zone for local police. Lazarat has often been described as the country’s drug capital, and dozens of wanted traffickers are believed to be hiding there.
In 2007, following a police shootout that left a suspected trafficker from the village dead, gangs from Lazarat set fire to Gjirokastra police station. Special Forces from Tirana had to deployed to restore order in the town.
The villagers have had several armed confrontations with police in recent years.
Outgunned, the local police have settled for blocking water trucks headed for the village and intercepting shipments rather than going in and arresting those who grow marijuana.
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