Albanian Prosecution requires 18 years in prison for Klement Balili

 Klement Balili at the trial

 In Albania, the Serious Crimes Prosecution called for a 18-year jail sentence for Klement Balilin, suspected of being one of the most important drug traffickers of the recent decade. He is self-surrendered in police in January after more than two and a half years of runaway, he is charged with at least four offenses, ranging from narcotics trafficking to criminal group involvement, money laundering and asset concealment.

Balil's name emerged during an investigation that was finalized in early May 2016, with an operation undertaken by Greek authorities in co-operation with the US DEA, where over 670 kilograms of marijuana were seized on the island of Zakynthos in Eastern Greece. This operation included Albanian police as well as the authorities of several European Union countries, where it was thought to have spread the traffic network organizations, one of whose leaders is alleged to be Klement Balili, defined by Greek media as the "Balkan's Eskobar". A large number of members and leaders of the organization were arrested in Greece and some other European countries, while Balili himself was able to escape.

Initially Balili appeared publicly in Saranda, denying the charges, and then disappeared without a trace. Among the Albanian institutions had a long-standing "ping-pong" of blamings, and the police who stated they had requested a warrant from the prosecution, while the latter had explained that could not act for as long as the investigation did not provide evidence for this illegal activity in Albania, for that reason the Greek materials were required. Balilin's file from Greece arrived late last year, and the police organised several seizure operations during December, which resulted unsuccessful.

From the very first moments, Balili's case was overwhelmed with suspicion. At the time, the CNN Greece went into controversy with the Albanian Embassy in Athens after publishing a text in which, referring to the sources of the Greek authorities, stressed that the Albanian police officers had declared to Greek partners during a secret meeting in Albania that the Albanian Baron (Balili) could not be arrested because he had political protection in Tirana. Balili was the director of the Regional Transport Directorate in Saranda, appointed in 2014. One of Balili's nephews was then elected mayor of Delvina Municipality, South of Albania, under the SMI party, while his brother has been also the LSI coordinator in the South of the country.
Albanian Prosecution requires 18 years in prison for Klement Balili Albanian Prosecution requires 18 years in prison for Klement Balili Monday, April 08, 2019 Rating: 5
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