The State Police failed to arrest Klement Balili and Lulzim Berisha in two large operations on Sunday, in Saranda and Durres.
On 21th October, The Special Police Force and RENEA team searched for Klement Balili in Saranda, Vlora and Delvin. According to police, an informant had supplied information regarding Balili’s whereabouts in an area between Saranda and Delvina.
It’s not clear yet whether such information was incorrect or Balili was able to escape the police during the operation.
Klement Balili, known as the Balkans’ Escobar, has been at large since May 2016. He is accused of international drug trafficking and participation in a criminal organization. The arrest warrant on him was issued by the Greek police in May 2016, when Balili had already been appointed as head of the Road Transport Department in Saranda.
On 21th October, Durres County Police arrested Flamur, Astrit and Jasim Avdyli, former socialist MP Ndoka’s brother Xhevahir Ndoka, and 20 other people charged with participation in a drug dealing group in Shijak, Durres. One of the arrest warrants issued by the prosecution was on Lulzim Berisha, who was released from prison in December 2016. Police could not find Lulzim Berisha in his apartment. It is suspected he was informed about the operation and escaped.
Lulzim Berisha, known as the head of the Durres criminal gang, was arrested in April 2006 and charged with the murder of five people, attempted murder of tens of others, and creating a criminal organization. The High Court sentenced him to 25 years in prison, but he was released on December 5th, 2016.
His Appeals Court mandated release inspired great controversy, especially seeing as the release was facilitated by a letter of Mayor of Durrës Vangjush Dako (PS) in which he guarantees the leader of the Gang of Durres employment with the municipality.
Lulzim Berisha seems to have re-engaged in drug trafficking after his release from prison.