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Successful takedown of drug trafficking network in Italy and Albania

The regional project Countering Serious Crime in the Western Balkans (CSCWB), in cooperation with Eurojust and Europol, supported judicial and law enforcement authorities in the framework of a JIT (Joint Investigation Team) in Italy and Albania in dismantling a network of drug traffickers.

The following authorities took part in the investigation:

  1. Italy: Public Prosecutor’s Office of Bergamo, Central Investigation Service on Organised Crime of the Guardia di Finanza, Economic-Financial Police of Brescia of the Guardia di Finanza, Central Directorate for Anti-Drug Services, Italian International Police Cooperation Service;
  2. Albania: Special Prosecution Office Against Corruption and Organised Crime (SPAK), Albanian State Police – International Cooperation Office of Tirana

The criminal groups were allegedly responsible for the large-scale trafficking of cocaine, cannabis and heroin mainly from Albania to Italy. During the joint action day, on January 26th , the deployment for the operations of some 350 officers in the field, led to the arrest of 30 suspects and the search of 31 locations. Five rifles, one gun and six vehicles have been seized during the operation. The action day was steered in real-time from Eurojust’s coordination centre. The operation is part of a longer-term investigation carried out jointly by the Italian and Albanian authorities, which has already led to the arrest of 62 persons and the seizure of assets worth approximately EUR 1 million (in Italy), as well as to the seizure of huge quantities of drugs.

The case was opened at Eurojust and Europol in 2019. Over the course of the investigation CSC WB provided, by its embedded country team, support and expertise, that consented the enhancement of the technologies in use to the beneficiaries, as well as the delivery of a customized training on-the-job in a live case scenario, that led to the remarkable results in the framework of the above-mentioned JIT.

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