Illustration. An Albanian policeman with a sniffer at Mother Teresa Square in Tirana, Albania, September 19, 2014. Photo: EPA/ARMANDO BABANI

Kosovo Ruling Party Expels Prishtina Member After Drug Arrest

Prishtina assembly member Besnik Mujeci was among five people arrested on suspicion of trafficking ecstasy worth 400,000 euros by bus between the capitals of Kosovo and Albania.

Kosovo’s ruling Vetevendosje party expelled one of its members, Prishtina assembly member Besnik Mujeci, on Tuesday after he was arrested in neighbouring Albania on suspicion of drug trafficking.

Mujeci was among five people – two of them from Kosovo – arrested in the Albanian capital Tirana on Tuesday. Albanian police said they were found in possession of 1,300 MDMA tablets, commonly known as ecstasy, with a market value of some 400,000 euros.

“After receiving the information about the arrest of the assemblyman of the Municipality of Pristina from the ranks of our party, the Disciplinary Commission of the LVV immediately dealt with this case,” Arlind Manxhuka, spokesman for the Vetevendosje Movement, LVV, announced on Facebook on Tuesday.

“As a result, the Disciplinary Commission of the Vetevendosje Movement at its meeting, decided to exclude member Besnik Mujeci from membership and all structures of the Vetevendosje Movement!” he said.

Manxhuka said the party considered “such reprehensible and illegal phenomena… absolutely intolerable”.

Senior Tirana police officer Tonin Vocaj said on Tuesday that the suspects had exploited the tourist season traffic to ship the drugs from Pristina to Tirana by bus.

“After the shipments arrived in Tirana, they were transported by rented cars in Tirana and to other cities, mainly coastal ones, and the exchange places were designated in public places with a lot of movement and flow of people,” Vocaj said. “In order to reach agreements with distributors of synthetic drugs in Albania, the traffickers demanded advance payments, or even vehicles as a guarantee.”

Vetevendosje’s political opponents seized on Mujeci’s arrest, pointing out that in June the party, which is in opposition in Pristina, named Mujeci as a shareholder in the Pristina Bus Station public enterprise. The municipality, led by the Democratic League of Kosovo, LDK, overturned the decision but was itself overruled by the Vetevendosje-controlled Ministry of public administration.

“Today, when one of their [municipality] assembly members was arrested with 11,000 doses of narcotics worth around half a million euros as part of a network where the Pristina-Tirana bus lines constantly shipped narcotics, there is no way not to recall the insistence of the opposition in the capital, Vetevendosje Movement, to place the same assemblyman – exactly this one – as a shareholder in this Station,” LDK leader Lumir Abdixhiku wrote on Facebook.

“Not Termokos [central heating enterprise], Prishtina Parking, NPB [public housing enterprise], Palace of Youth or any other company in the capital, but precisely the [Bus] Station, where the bus lines left from every day.”

16/08/2023 - 10:04

16 August 2023 - 10:04

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