Detention and House Arrest for Albanian Culprits Involved in International Narcotics Network

The Special Court upheld on Sunday the decision of special prosecution SPAK for the detainees of the operation "Spirit" ruling arrest with imprisonment for 14 of those detained.
While for four others, including Prosecutor Maksim Sota and former deputy director of Vlora Police, Ilir Balla, the Court has left the security measure under house arrest.
The international mega operation, codenamed "Spirit" was finalized last Friday. According to the confession of the four penitents of justice, 38 people were arrested, including prosecutors, police officers, as well as the two escorts of the former Minister of Interior, Saimir Tahiri. From the SPAK investigations, in cooperation with the Italian anti-mafia authorities, it results that the criminal groups have trafficked at least 6 tons of drugs during the years 2014-2017 from Albania to Italy.
Hekuran Marku and Agustin Deda, Tahiri's former bodyguards, according to the special prosecution, have played an active role in drug trafficking. Part of this network is also the former deputy director of Vlora police, currently in the state police, Ilirjan Balla against whom house arrest was imposed, as well as Festim Lelaj, previously convicted of drug trafficking, and Artur Krasniqi, an employee of the Durrës police.
The official announcement of SPAK regarding this operation stated:
"In total, in the framework of the above-mentioned investigations, about 6 tons of narcotics such as marijuana, cocaine and hashish were seized, depriving criminal organizations of income estimated at over 55 million euros for a total amount of about 14 million doses whose destination was retail distribution.” /