Police in Albania seize 750 kilos of cannabis

TIRANA -- Police in Albania said they confiscated at least 150 kilograms of cannabis meant to be sold in neighboring Greece.
A group of armed smugglers tried to cross the border between the two countries, and when stopped by border police opened fire against the officers.
The smugglers "left the merchandise and arms and fled toward the mountains", said a police statement in Tirana.

It also said there were no casualties in the incident, and that the operation was ongoing.

In a separate operation, police in the Albanian town of Durres on Wednesday seized more than 600 kilograms of cannabis about to be shipped to Italy.

According to reports from several countries' police forces, Albania is the main supplier of cannabis to Europe.

Although the authorities claim that they destroy between 70,000 and 100,000 cannabis plants each year, experts believe there are areas of the country that are still "out of control".

Italian anti-mafia prosecutor Cataldo Motta recently appraised that Albania produces at least 20 tons of cannabis each year.