Albanian Daily News
Joint efforts to fight stolen car traffic

Albanian Economic Tribune - Jan 24, 2000

TIRANA - Three ministers urged to step up control at the border checkpoints to curb the stream of stolen cars that enter Albania, a government spokesman said on Thursday.

The Minister of Finance Anastas Angjeli, the Minister of Public Order Spartak Poci, and the Minister of Transport Ingrid Shuli met on Wednesday to analyse the work done during the last year, and coordinate efforts against the traffic of stolen cars for 2000.

Press reports and sources who asked not to be identified said that the three ministers approved a fight-plan against the traffic, but details were not available. Sources from the ministry of transport said that the "strategy is still on the making."

Last month Poci’s car was confiscated at the border with Greece, as it resulted stolen. The Albanian minister then reached Athens with a car provided by the Greek government. Ironically, Poci met with his Greek counterpart to step up border control.

Cars entering Albania from Italy and Montenegro - lately, most of the cars are Mercedes Benz - are stolen in western Europe, and in most of the cases with the consent of the owners, who denounce the car is missing only after the Albanian has crossed the border.

"This way they get money from us and the insurance money," said a stolen car dealer. He asked not to be identified.

During the first week of December, the police starting searching the car market in the Durres Beach, to find stolen cars and enforce traders to pay customs duties. At a first moment Poci announced that the police had dispersed the car market, but the minister of order, announced later that most of the cars had regular documents and only custom duties were to be paid.

"The scrutiny showed that the traders had all the necessary documents for their cars, and therefore there was no reason to disband the market," Poci said.

A spokesman from the ministry of transport said that the Customs Department and Shuli’s ministry will scrutinise all the cars that have entered Albania.

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