20.04.2000Albanian drug dealers arrested in Balkan countries
TIRANA - Bulgarian and Macedonian police stopped two Albanian trucks in separate police checks on Tuesday, news reports said on Wednesday.
Bulgarian customs officers seized 13.79 kilograms of heroin at the Kapitan Andreevo check-point on the border with Turkey on Tuesday morning, local customs authorities said.
The drugs, divided into 26 packs of 520 to 540 grams each, were found in a secret compartment under the chassis of a Mercedes Benz truck, which was crossing the Bulgarian border en route from Turkey to Albania.
The truck driver, a man of Albanian nationality, was arrested by Bulgarian police on suspicion of drug trafficking. The Kapitan Andreevo check-point has seized a total of 407.9 kilograms of heroin since the beginning of this year.
Late on Tuesday, the Macedonian border police seized 465 kg (1,025 pounds) of marijuana from a truck entering from Albania - the latest sign of an upsurge in trafficking through Macedonia.
"This is the seventh confiscation of different types of drugs since the beginning of the year," Interior Ministry spokesman Stevo Pendarovski told reporters. "In three and a half months we have reached the amount seized during all of 1999."
A 37-year-old Albanian was detained at the Qafe-Thana border post in connection with the shipment, whose street value was put at around 1.4 million German marks ($680,000). Macedonia lies on the Balkan smuggling route for narcotics from the Middle East usually destined for western Europe.
An Albanian businessman was arrested by Greek anti-drug agents last weekend in Athens. Greek police agents arrested Petrit Gazheli, 60, from Tirana, who imported clothes and flour from Turkey into Albania. The Greek police failed to find any drugs in Gazheli's home, but police sources said that he used his fleet of trucks to smuggle drugs into the country.
The Greek police arrested six Albanians during last week, including Gazheli. The police seized during the arrests 4,5 kilos of heroine, more than a kilogramme of cocaine.