October 22, 2018 / 4:11 PM / 2 months ago

Albania arrests 27, targets gangs smuggling drugs to Germany

(Reuters) - Albanian police arrested 27 people and seized narcotics and weapons on Sunday during a crackdown on gangs smuggling heroin into Germany, authorities said.

More than 1,500 officers raided properties across the country, which has promised to boost its crime-fighting efforts as part of its bid to join the European Union.

Days earlier, police raided a heroin lab in the mountainous Has region and found morphine and drug ingredients that had come from Turkey via Macedonia and Kosovo, national police chief Ardi Veliu told reporters on Monday.

Luigi Soreca, the EU’s ambassador to Albania, said the bloc now expected “that prosecutions and convictions would follow”.

Reporting by Benet Koleka; Editing by Andrew Heavens

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