The interior ministry of Albania presented the results of its flagship operation, the "force of the law", concerning, precisely, the application of the law in all fields but above all in the battle against organized crime, where the ministry claimed to have achieved important successes.
At the conference held in Tirana, Minister Farmir Xhafaj said - as reported by Balkan Insight - that the last eight months of work have brought great successes. However, on the other hand, while acknowledging in part some of these successes, the American ambassador in Tirana, Donald Lu, said that the links between organized crime and politics are still strong.
"I wanted to highlight a failure of the government, prosecutors and police; or the failure to arrest Klement Balili. Balili is a powerful leader in organized crime who has strong ties to politics: for two years, the government, police and prosecutors were unable or unwilling to arrest him. " - declared Lu.
The reference is to a drug dealer, who was director of transport services in Saranda, in southern Albania. But one day, Klement Balili was accused by the Greek authorities of being in charge of international drug trafficking.
Even the British ambassador, Duncan Norman, while praising some successes achieved, said that "The big fish are still in the ocean and high-level criminals still have some sort of immunity".
Meanwhile, German ambassador Susanne Schutz said that the Albanian thieves had become such a problem for her country that Germany was forced to cooperate in an 'anti-hawks' initiative, indicating the young members of the Albanian band that goes mainly to Italy to raid vacation homes.
Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama, present at the conference, said his government had put an end to the old culture of impunity, but complained that some courts had released criminals arrested by the police.
"Impunity no longer exists, despite what some Albanians or foreigners think." - declared the premier.
The fight against organized crime is an essential condition for the further integration of Albania, as criminal groups from the country continue to cause serious concern to the authorities of several EU member states.
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