Hellenic authorities now believe the drug smugglers arrested in the Aegean sea last week after a speedboat chase have links to a former minister of the Albanian government
Hellenic Coast Guards have now confirmed that they arrested 11 drug traffickers after the high speed chase on Sunday 26 November, and that two law enforcement officers were injured after having to dive from their vessel whilst under gunfire from the smugglers.
The same smuggling network are believed to have made two similar attempts earlier in the year to smuggle large quantities of hashish from Albania to Italy.
Albanian authorities are said to believe that the traffickers might be linked to a former Albanian government minister.
A further eight people – an Italian, four Albanians, two Greeks and a Bulgarian – were also arrested over the weekend. One of whom is a 63 year old Greek businessman who owns a popular restaurant in Mykonos and who allegedly supplied three speedboats to the network.
The Greek coast guard and the police joined forces late on Sunday (26 November) after intercepting a boat carrying 1.6 tons of cannabis coming from Albania.
Broadcaster ERT has confirmed that six suspects were arrested. Four Albanian and two Italian nationals, all members of a drug ring that had been under surveillance for many weeks, were stopped and detained.
The operation started in the north of Corfu, with law enforcement agencies chasing a high powered speedboat heading in from Albania.
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The high speed chase, which had the combined deployment of helicopters, divers as well as more boats from Island port authorities, ended on Kea island in the Aegean Sea’s Cyclades archipelago, where the six drug runners were eventually detained.