Prime Minister Edi Rama congratulated Minister of Interior Sander Lleshaj on international drug trafficker Klement Balili’s decision to surrender. For two years the state police failed to arrest Balili although he was on the Most Wanted list.
In a twit following the news of Balili’s arrest Rama wrote:
“Klement Balili behind bars, a giant leap forward in the war against organized crime, and a meaningful response to all dogs barking at the firmly progressing caravan. Congratulations to Minister Lleshi, State Police and SHISH [State Intelligence Service].”
Rama considered Balili’s decision to surrender as “a successful accomplishment of one of the most sophisticated police operation lasting several months.”
In a public statement Minister Lleshaj also announced that:
“The Albanian Police concluded an operation on Klement Balili’s surrender. Starting from today, the Albanian judiciary takes into its hands one of the most wanted persons [in Albania] and beyond.
There could never be a wilful walk of such a high level criminal toward police station. This process is the result of an extended, deep and complicated operation, in collaboration with Albania’s partners, which enabled the said person to surrender to state police.”
The high profile drug trafficker had been at large since May, 2016. He stands accused of international drug trafficking and participation in a criminal organization. Balili’s arrest warrant was issued by the Greek police in May, 2016, when he was the Director of Saranda Roads Transportation Department under Prime Minister Rama’s first government.
In October, 2018, the Special Police Force and RENEA team searched for Klement Balili in Saranda, Vlora and Delvina, following information supplied by an informant. However, the police failed to arrest him.