Armed Forces and Ministry of Defense insist that there are no clear facts
IBNA Special Report
There are growing suspicions about the involvement of armed forces and the equipment of the Albanian army. A document of the State Informative Service suggests that the army’s airplanes have been used for international drug traffic in March 2014.
The date in question is March 19, 2014, where according to the document which has come to light a few hours ago for the public, at the end of the main runway of Gjader, a charter type airplane has landed and beside it there was a van registered in Vlora. This airplane often lands in the Gjader airfield”, states the official SIS document.
“Based on indications, we suspect that the arrival of this plane intended the transport and trafficking of narcotic substances. Around 8 o’clock on that day, police officers from the Lezha precinct came in the airfield of Gjader”, states SIS document.
This document stresses that there have also been other cases that relate to the use of small planes for the traffic of drugs from Albania outside the country.
The publication of this document comes a few days after the opposition has claimed that the army has been recently used for international drug traffic.
As far as this publication is concerned, the Ministry of Defense and Armed Forces issued a reaction. “There’s no fact which will prove these public accusations. Armed Forces possess documents from specialized structures of the Alliance that monitor the air field of the Republic of Albania and which confirm that there have not been renegade airplanes in our air space on the date and time cited on the media”, states the official reaction.
“Armed Forces do not want to be part of the public debate. The stance of the Armed Forces is based in the inspections carried out by domestic and foreign specialized institutions. Obeying the law and the law alone, Armed Forces will offer to Prosecution and Parliament all proofs that verify the accuracy of this stance”, officially declared the Ministry of Defense.
The details of SIS document
The document drafted by the State Informative Service, signed by Visho Ajazi Lika, raise serious suspicions for the use of the Airfield of Gjader for the transport and traffic of drugs. The document has been officially sent to Mrs. Mimi Kodheli, minister of Defense.
According to the information, on 19.03.2014, around 7 am, a small Charter white plane landed at the end of the Gjader runaway. After the airplane landed, a “Veko” white van registered in Vlore drove toward it. This airplane often lands in the airfield of Gjader. “Based on our indications, we suspect that the arrival of the plane intended the transport and traffic of narcotic substances. Around 8 o’clock that day, officers from the police precinct of Lezha came in the airfield of Gjader, because they were informed that an airplane had landed at the end of the main runway of Gjader”, says the document.
The document further states: “Both our structures in the District of Lezha, SIS and State police structures made their verifications on field. We learned that the military personnel of the airfield had said in the presence of police structures that the radars do not function and as a result there’s no information and no airplane has been seen to have landed in the airfield of Gjader. For the case in question, we and police, canvassed the residents of the area, who confirmed the landing of an airplane around 07:10 of 19.03.2014”.
As per the abovementioned, SIS, based on several of its indications, but also based on an indication received by Military State Service in October 2013, has launched an operation to collect data in order to verify the suspicions if small airplanes which transport drug abroad land on it.
SIS says that there have also been other cases that relate to the use of small airplanes for the traffic of drugs from Albania abroad. “On these situations, we have informed the General Police Directorate on 11.03.2014”, says the document signed by Lika.
According to SIS, this way of drug traffic, “is being used in Gjirokaster and Lushnja”.
“In our assessment, what’s important in the accurate identification of different means of transport used for the traffic of drug through sea and air is the use of radars, which according to our data, is sometimes misused or it doesn’t exist, as it’s the case of the airfield of Gjader”, concludes the document of the Albanian secret service. /ibna/