On 30 June 2020 the Bari DIA, working in close coordination with corresponding Albanian agencies thanks to the establishment of a Joint Investigation Team, concluded a complex transnational investigation into certain international drug trafficking criminal groups operating between Italy and Albania.
The operation ended with the capture of 23 individuals, 10 of Italian and 13 of Albanian nationality, who were suspected, under different charges, of conspiracy to traffic large quantities of drugs internationally.
At the same time the Special Prosecution Office against Corruption and Organized Crime of Tirana executed ten custody orders against ten alleged members of a powerful criminal organization which had been operating in Vlorë, Albania, since 2015.
In September and October 2020, the four individuals who had escaped capture on 30 June 2020 were located abroad, arrested and extradited to Italy.
Moreover, during the operation, seven arrests were made in flagrante delicto in Italy on different occasions and with the support of other law enforcement agencies and around 2,000 kilos of drugs were seized along with ammunition and weapons.
The Joint Investigation Team comprising officers of the Bari DIA and the Albanian Police arrested two Italian couriers in Albania at the customs entry point to Greece and seized 458 kilos of drugs destined for Italy by sea.
In total 46 people were arrested, both Italians and Albanians, and around 2,500 kilos of drugs were seized along with weapons and ammunition as well as movable assets and buildings worth more than €4 million, probably connected to two of the suspects.