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article imageAlbanian ex-dictator's grandson jailed for smuggling cocaine

By AFP     Jul 12, 2017 in Crime

An Albanian court has sentenced the grandson of former communist dictator Enver Hoxha to ten years in jail for smuggling cocaine, a statement said on Wednesday.

Ermal Hoxha is part of a nine-member group, which includes two Columbians, whose were served prison terms from 10 to 13 years on Tuesday, a Tirana court said.

They were found guilty of belonging to a "criminal group involved in cocaine trafficking from Cuba through Albania to west European countries," the court statement said.

Hoxha, 42, and his alleged accomplices were arrested in January 2015 in an operation which led to the seizure of 120 kilogrammes (264 pounds) of cocaine.

At the time police also uncovered a drug processing laboratory in Xibraka, 68 kilometres (40 miles) south of Tirana.

A 2017 US State Department report said Albania "remains a significant source country for marijuana, as well as a transit route for cocaine and heroin destined for European markets."

Enver Hoxha ruled Albania from 1944 till his death in 1985. He isolated the Balkan country and imposed a strict dictatorial regime.

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