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Albanian government chief arrested with almost 60kg of drugs on her

Albanian government chief arrested with almost 60kg of drugs on her

She is said to have used her government ID to avoid being checked in the past

An Albanian government chief has been arrested after police stopped her for a check and uncovered nearly 60kg of drugs.

Vice reports that Erisa Fero was of particular focus in the arrest, having used her position as an IT director for Albania’s state information agency AKSH to get away with smuggling illegal substances.

According to local authorities, the 28-year-old's vehicle was stopped on 29 December where officers found 58kg of cannabis.

Four people, including Fero, were arrested, as well as a man believed to be her partner, Likmend Basha, and two minors.

Erisa Fero flashes her lifestyle on social media.
Instagram/Erisa Fero

She is said to have used her government ID to avoid being checked in the past, only this time her plan didn't work.

Albanian outlet Gazeta Sot reports that she told officers 'you have no right to check a ministry car' but she was 'taken down by force' and detained on drug trafficking charges.

The incident unfolded in a remote area on the border of Albania and North Macedonia, with police stating they are still on the lookout for two further suspects who are believed to have been waiting to pick up the illegal cargo on the other side.

Although there's no official announcement on whether Fero has been fired, the intelligence service said: "Following a statement by the Local Police Directorate of Korytsa, with the arrest of three citizens, including Mrs Fero, AKSHI announces that: based on the current Albanian legislation, it has immediately initiated the procedure to dismiss that person.

Police seized 58kg of cannabis from her vehicle.
Policia e Shtetit

"Mrs Fero was an employee of the e-Albania sector as a director. The National Agency for Information Society condemns any illegal act and assures that it will always stand by the procedures of the institutions that act in favour of the law."

Officials believe those who were arrested may be linked to organised crime gangs. A senior EU security official, who asked not to be named, spoke to Vice about the implications this incident has on the country and its national security.

"Albania and other countries including Bulgaria and Romania have made significant gains in battling local organised crime and corruption in cooperation with the EU and NATO," they told the outlet.

"But this incident shows the difficulty in battling corruption in a patronage environment like Albania."

They continued: "It would stand to reason that a government official allegedly caught trafficking large amounts of drugs in Albania could have links to organised crime groups.

"And these groups are certainly involved with Russian organised crime, so this would be a major security concern. The EU will be watching Albania closely to see how they handle it."

This isn't the first scandal the government official has been involved in.
TikTok/Erisa Fero

Reports have also highlighted Fero's previous controversies, having been reported by the Central Electoral Commission (CEC) for allegedly falsifying votes while working for the Socialist Party in the 2021 parliamentary elections.

Despite the accusations, no action was made and, after the party won, she received her governmental role.

Rudina Hajdari, chair of Albania’s EU Integration Committee and a former MP, told Vice: "The current government system is rotten because people use the party as a catapult to get a job in the state, even though they are not professionals.

"Then they use the state to get rich, by using their position as camouflage to conduct highly illegal activities."

Featured Image Credit: @erisa.fero/TikTok/Policia e Shtetit

Topics: World News, Crime, Drugs, Politics