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  1. ZenobiaSky
    TIRANA, Albania (AP) -- Authorities say suspected gang members have fired rocket-propelled grenades, mortars and machine guns at hundreds of police officers who tried to enter a lawless village in southern Albania as part of a crackdown on Marijuana production.


    Police said nobody was hurt in the pre-dawn attack Monday outside Lazarat, where authorities believe gangs produce about 900 metric tons of cannabis a year. The drug production is estimated to be worth about 4.5 billion euros ($6.1 billion) - roughly half of the small Balkan country's GDP.

    They said around 500 lightly-armed police, including special forces officers, surrounded the village overnight after a smaller force was repelled over the weekend by light-arms fire that injured one villager.


    Police said they would continue the crackdown on the drug producers and "liberate Lazarat from criminals."

    Jun 16, 5:55 AM EDT
    AP
    http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/storie...ME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2014-06-16-05-55-44

    The Newhawks Crew

Comments

  1. Alfa
    So 500 paramilitary police officers besieged a village controlled by gangs which fired grenade launchers and machine guns, but nobody was hurt. Sure...
    The outlaw village produced 900.000 kilograms of cannabis per year. So thats around 1.8 million plants running 365 days a year, which needs at least 2.000.000 m2 / 21.000.000 sq ft indoor growspace. That's highly doubtful.
  2. Alien Sex Fiend
    Alfa, do you believe in Hollywood? This will be a great flick. Put Tim Burton in charge, and Johhny Depp as the lawless villager
  3. ZenobiaSky
    Albanian police destroy 'cannabis' crops

    Albanian police destroy 'cannabis' crops

    [IMGL=WHITE]https://www.drugs-forum.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=39191&stc=1&d=1402951989[/IMGL]Albanian police have destroyed hundreds of thousands of plants donated by a British charity to poor farmers which Albanian authorities claim were cannabis.

    Four farmers were arrested after police raided fields containing 400,000 plants in the town of Shkoder, 50 miles north of the Albanian capital, Tirana.

    The farmers have been charged with growing illegal crops used to produce drugs and a warrant has been issued for the arrest of the head of the agricultural commune.

    The plants were donated by British charity Partnership for Growth, which aims to help economic regeneration in underdeveloped parts of Eastern Europe.

    The organisation insists the crops were industrial hemp from which it is impossible to produce narcotics.

    Charity spokesman Mike Tyler said: "There has been a total misunderstanding. Partnership for Growth is absolutely devastated that innocent farmers have been arrested and the crops destroyed.

    "It was a co-operative project with the commune and we are doing all we can to get the suspicions lifted."

    He said officials from the British embassy in Tirana are meeting Albanian authorities about the matter.

    Industrial hemp can be used to produce up to 30,000 products and the charity planned to help the farmers use the crops to manufacture rugs and carpets.

    The charity said the seeds had been certified by the National Institute for Agricultural Quality Control in Budapest, Hungary, and are currently being tested in 30 countries.

    However, Albanian General Police Director Bilbil Mema said a police laboratory test on the plants has confirmed they were cannabis.

    Drug trafficking and the cultivation of cannabis is a growing problem in Albania and police have begun destroying suspected crops.


    Tuesday, 17 July, 2001, 15:57 GMT 16:57 UK
    BBC NEWS
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/1443682.stm

    The Newhawks Crew
  4. kumar420
    Jeeze... idiocy and misguided police strike once again. And a fucking economic reform program too. This is almost exactly what happened with dupont and anslinger in the 20th century, but even more underhanded.
  5. ZenobiaSky
    Albania battles gangs in Europe's pot capital

    Albania battles gangs in Europe's pot capital

    [IMGL=WHITE]https://www.drugs-forum.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=39198&stc=1&d=1403067828[/IMGL] LAZARAT, Albania (AP) — Until ten years ago, Lazarat was a regular farming community. Now the village in southern Albania is Europe's biggest illegal marijuana producer, raking in billions of euros every year from the plants openly cultivated in fields and house gardens.

    Set in a green plain overlooked by high hills, this sprawling southern village of 5,000 is believed to produce about 900 metric tons of cannabis a year, worth some 4.5 billion euros ($6.1 billion) — just under half of the small Balkan country's GDP.

    The lucrative business has left its marks on society. Today flashy cars and expensive homes dot the village, where many residents were left unemployed after the political purges that followed changes of government in Albania in the late 1990s. Ironically, many had previously worked for the customs service, handling nearby border crossings with Greece.

    The marijuana-farming has grown constantly since then, encouraged by strong demand in neighboring Greece and Italy, while Albania has also become a major transit point for other drugs coming in to Europe from Asia and Latin America.

    Previously, authorities left the drug gangs pretty much to their own devices, as police visits tended to be met with gunfire. But change has come with the new Socialist government, which came into power last year with a clear aim to stamp out the marijuana economy and persist with efforts to seek Albanian membership in European Union. The country's application for candidate member status in the 28-nation bloc has already been turned down three times, with organized crime and corruption always cited as a stumbling block.

    In their most ambitious effort so far, 500 police officers were deployed this week to impose law and order in Lazarat as part of a nationwide anti-drug operation— only to be hailed with rocket-propelled grenades, mortar shells and heavy machine gun fire once they reached the outskirts of the village. With local television broadcasting the events live, police and the Interior Ministry urged residents to stay indoors and warned others to stay away from the area, some 230 kilometers (140 miles) south of the capital, Tirana.

    Police chief Artan Didi told reporters in Tirana that police were targeting a "very well-structured and organized criminal group that is keeping the village in its claws."

    On the second day of operations Tuesday, police numbers were reinforced to 800 and officers took control of about a quarter of the village, seizing "considerable quantities" of marijuana and ammunition, as well as drug-processing machinery. Amid near-continuous gunfire, they also destroyed 11,000 cannabis plants, and were planning to gingerly advance into gang-defended areas.

    Interior Minister Saimir Tahiri vowed to persist until "every square centimeter in Lazarat is under state control."

    According to the Socialists, Lazarat — a stronghold of the former ruling Democratic party — previously benefited from links with the political elite.

    "Time is over for the links of the world of crime in Lazarat with parliament, with politics, with those they exploited until yesterday," Tahiri said. "What you are seeing today is the best example of our determination to install the rule of law in every corner of Albania."

    The Democrats issued a statement saying that, while they support anti-drugs operations, the government's response was too heavy-handed and "exerts psychological terror on the civilian population."

    Six men have been arrested in the village on suspicion of participating in an earlier shootout and of attacking and robbing a television news crew.

    Police said most of the shooting was coming from two houses that apparently had stockpiles of weapons. Dozens of heavily-armed drug gang members were firing from vantage points inside the community and drawing from at least four underground former army weapons dumps that are easily accessible from the village.

    Albania, a small mountainous country on the Adriatic coast opposite Italy, has just over 3 million people. It was for decades Europe's most isolated country until a student uprising toppled the communist regime in 1990 and Albanians emigrated en masse to Greece, Italy and other western countries.

    Another uprising in 1997 led to the extensive looting of military installations, flooding Albania with weaponry, most of which is still unaccounted for. Lazarat's access to the underground depots dates to that period.

    "We are afraid that if we enter (the village) and respond to the shooting, we may cause casualties," a special police officer dressed in camouflage and wearing a bulletproof vest told an Associated Press photographer at the scene. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not officially authorized to speak to the media.

    "Moreover, (they) have all the weapons and equipment we have," he said.

    Four people — a policeman and three villagers — have been hurt so far, suffering light gunshot injuries.

    By HEKTOR PUSTINA and LLAZAR SEMINI
    Associated Press
    Updated 4:01 pm, Tuesday, June 17, 2014
    http://www.stamfordadvocate.com/new...-bolster-siege-at-lawless-village-5557517.php

    The Newhawks Crew

    For Related Article Including Pictures see:
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2658903/Albanian-police-storm-lawless-marijuana-village.html
  6. ZenobiaSky
    Albania: tons of drugs seized from lawless village

    LAZARAT, ALBANIA — A five-day raid on a lawless southern Albanian village which netted huge amounts of marijuana and heavy weapons shows the government's determination to tackle drug gangs, the prime minister said Friday.

    About 800 police besieged the village of Lazarat for days, coming under fire from guns, rocket-propelled grenades and even mortars before being able to move in. Police arrested 15 people; one policeman and three villagers were injured during the battle.

    "State police destroyed the 20-year-old taboo of a crime zone that had declared itself a separate republic and turned it into a stamp of shame for Albania," Prime Minister Edi Rama said in the capital, Tirana.

    Rama's nine-month-old government has declared its determination to tackle the drug gangs as part of the country's efforts to gain candidate status for entry into the European Union, which has been rejected three times previously.

    Smoke from burning marijuana hung above the village Friday, the first day without gunfire since the raid began Sunday night.

    Authorities said they had destroyed 25.4 tons of marijuana, 91,000 plants and four drug-processing laboratories after searching 162 houses and other buildings. In one home, police found a ton of marijuana in a water tank in an underground storage room.

    They said they also seized 20 heavy weapons, tens of thousands of ammunition rounds and scores of rocket-propelled grenades.

    Albania is a major marijuana-producing country and transit point for moving other drugs from Asia and Latin America to Europe. Gangs based in Lazarat, 230 kilometers (140 miles) south of Tirana, were believed to produce about 900 metric tons of cannabis a year, worth about 4.5 billion euros ($6.1 billion) — just under half of the country's GDP, according to the Interior Ministry.

    Lazarat grabbed international attention 10 years ago when villagers shot at an Italian police helicopter helping Albanian authorities photograph marijuana plantations.

    "What could we do? Everybody planted cannabis here," said an elderly woman, who refused to give her name for fear of prosecution.

    BY HEKTOR PUSTINA
    Associated Press
    June 20, 2014 Updated 4 hours ago
    The Olympian
    http://www.theolympian.com/2014/06/20/3190901/albania-tons-of-drugs-seized-from.html?

    The Newhawks Crew
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