EU, U.S. to assist Albania in fresh operation to fight crime


TIRANA, Nov. 7 – The European Union (EU) and the United States will fully support Albania’s institutions in its fight against organized crime and corruption, EU and U.S. diplomats said here Tuesday.

EU Ambassador Romana Vlahutin and U.S. Ambassador Donald Lu made such pledge at a conference organized by Albanian ministry of interior to launch a fresh operation named “Power of Law” aimed at stepping up efforts and advancing fight against crime in Albania.

Fatmir Xhafaj, Albanian interior minister, said that Albania would soon set up a Task Force to ensure the success of “Power of Law” operation.

In this framework, he said that the United States would provide their assistance.

“We will establish a Task Force, including Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) experts as well,” Xhafaj told reporters.

On his part, the U.S. ambassador to Tirana said that the United States endorsed the establishment of Albania’s new institutions SPAK (Specialized Structure against Corruption and Organized Crime) and BKH (National Investigation Bureau).

According to Lu, FBI came to Albania to engage in the fight against crime.

“We expect this aggressive plan of the government of Albania to end with the arrest of some “big fish” earlier next year and this success to continue in 2018 with SPAK and BKH. Our international partners expect such a thing too,” the U.S. diplomat said.

Meanwhile, the EU ambassador stressed that everyone was equal before the law in all European Union countries and same situation must exist even in Albania.

Albanian interior ministry also published a report in the framework of the newly launched operation where it informed that only in 2017 authorities here had identified and seized 35 million euros (40 million U.S. dollars) generated from illegal activities.

(Copyright Xinhua, received through National News Agency)