Representatives of the Italian Guardia di Finanza and of the Albanian police presented the results of the aerial monitoring of cannabis plantations in Albania funded by Italy and the European union. During these flights, about 23% of the total non-urban territory was monitored.

In his speech, Italian Minister of Interior Marco Minniti emphasized that it’s necessary to attack the “untouchables” of drug cultivation:

“We have to attack the untouchables, the criminal gangs and organizations that control that traffic, because in Albania, Italy, and Europe there are no untouchables. This is the important objective for which we need to work together”.

Stefano Screpanti, the chief of the third unit of the Guardia di Finanza, declared that the number of aerial monitoring flights has increased from 25 in 2013 to 57 in 2017.

Reminding that the monitoring mission covers a limited area of the Albanian territory, it has still achieved to find:

– 304 cannabis parcels representing 4,5 hectares during 2013;
– 815 parcels / 16,2 ha during 2014;
– 1368 parcels / 44,7 ha during 2015;
– 2086 parcels / 213,5 ha during 2016.

Compared to previous years, especially the 2015 – 2016 period, there were considerably less plantations found in 2017 or a number 88. Despite these results, the General Commander of the Guardia di Finanza Toschi stated that this year in Italy much more drugs from Albania were sized than in previous years:

“Last year the Guardia di Financa seized 33 tons of narcotics on the Italian shores, or 167% more than in 2016”. In 2016 there were 12 tons of cannabis seized in Italy from the Albanian costs alone.