One tonne of cannabis was seized off the coast of Albania on Sunday in an operation involving the police of Vlora and the Italian Guardia di Finanza, made public on Monday.
The drugs were seized as a part of operation Eye and were intended to be trafficked from Albania to Italy by two Ukrainian citizens.
Director of Vlora Police, Gentian Berberi, spoke in a press conference on Monday and announced that three Albanians and two Ukrainians had been arrested while four vessels had been seized.
“About 250 police forces were involved in the operation, which carried out checks and pursuits from the land, sea, and the air with GDF and Frontex helicopters,” Berberi said during the press conference.
“The services of the State Police made it possible to identify the persons suspected of having transported the narcotics in 3 vessels to another vessel in the depths of the sea,” he added.
Those under arrest are Arber Saraseli, Saverjo Imeraj, Qemal Pekmez, and the two so-far unnamed Ukrainians. One other Albanian, Gregor Likaj, is wanted by the authorities.
It is believed the accused had transported the drugs on Sunday afternoon with three speedboats into the Ionian Sea to a vessel driven by the two Ukrainians. The Guarda di Finanza boarded the vessel and found 992kg of cannabis, divided into 153 packages.