By Edison Kurani
Albanian authorities have launched a process which aims at collection unlawful weapons that many people have been keeping for the past 20 years, when the state capitulated and the army depots were looted by civilians.
An action has started several months ago with the aim of encouraging people to surrender their weapons and ammunition, penalizing nobody for unlawful possession of weapons, a criminal offense which carries a jail sentence of up to seven years.
The Ministry of Interior has decided April 30 as the last date, but has recently reviewed its decision and extended the deadline.
For this, the Albanian Parliamentary Security Committee decided today (18.04) to accept the request of nine MP for the deadline regarding the deadline for the voluntary surrendering of weapons to be extended up to 1 January 2018.
Some say that this extension comes as a result of the fact that a very small number of people have actually surrendered their weapons these months.
Parliament is seeking new ways on how to encourage this process. MPs sponsoring this deadline extension suggested modest financial bonuses for people who surrender their weapons, for which they have no permit.
Military specialists say that between 70 thousand to 100 thousand fire arms are still in the hands of Albanian people. However, a part of them are believed to have been trafficked abroad.
In the past two months, around 1300 weapons, 1.350 grenades, mines, 50 kg of explosive and 410.000 different military ammunitions have been surrendered.
The weapons taken from military depots and police stations in 1997 are responsible for more than 3 thousand people killed in the past 20 years in Albania. /balkaneu.com/