Tuesday, January 9, 2007

Police Seize Huge Haul of Cocaine

Macedonian customs officials seized a record 483kg of cocaine at the Blace Macedonia-Kosovo border. The haul is estimated to be worth some 46 million Euros but if it were processed by dealers on the streets, the value could have reached nearly 90million.  This record seizure is double the previous record of 220kgs in 2004 but follows much the same pattern.  The 2004 bust also came from Venezuela via Bar.  Macedonian TV channel A1 reported that the operation was conducted by ethnic Albanian, Cavilj Sabani, who is serving a 40-year sentence in Kosovo prison for smuggling cocaine.  Another possible suspect named was Stanislava Cocorvska-Poletan who is the owner of two front companies.  One that participated in the transfer of the drugs and another that was the designated purchaser of the "paint".

Reportedly, the Montenegrin police notified the Kosovo customs officials that the truck was suspicious.  Kosovo customs did not find anything but they alerted the Macedonian customs officials as the truck passed the Blace border and the cocaine was discovered in containers labeled as acrylic paint.  There were 882 such containers containing packets of cocaine in the truck.  Police tracking the source of the drugs have found that the cocaine shipped from Venezuela to Montenegro's port city of Bar.  From there it was loaded in a truck bearing Macedonian registration and driven by a Macedonian citizen through Kosovo.

Every year I try to go back and look through my Kosovo Tips for Newbies to see if anything is changed or needs updating.  As usual, some things have changed so I've updated the page with various information about living in Kosovo (particularly Pristina) and what one can expect and some tips on where you can shop or get a haircut :o)