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Society

6 Migrant Traffickers Arrested after Opening Fire on Albanian Border Police

TIRANA, Albania (AP) – Albanian police announced on Friday that they have apprehended six individuals involved in migrant trafficking. The suspects are accused of organizing an illegal border crossing for individuals from Arab countries and engaging in a shooting incident with border police. Fortunately, no injuries were reported.

According to a police statement, the traffickers were active in Morine village, near the Kosovo border, located approximately 165 kilometers (around 100 miles) north of the capital, Tirana. They were involved in “criminal activity assisting emigrants from third countries to cross the border illegally…in exchange for financial compensation.”

When asked to halt their activities, the traffickers resorted to gunfire, as per the police report.

After a lengthy pursuit coordinated with their counterparts in Kosovo, the authorities successfully apprehended five Syrians and one Algerian early on Friday. However, one Algerian suspect remains at large.

The accused individuals are facing charges related to facilitating the illegal crossing of migrants from Arab and Asian countries through Greece, Albania, Kosovo, and Serbia, with the ultimate goal of reaching Western European countries. Additionally, they are being charged with attempted murder for firing shots at border agents and illegal possession of weapons.

If convicted on all counts, they could face a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.

Although Albania is not commonly used as a primary route for migrants, some individuals attempt to utilize this small Western Balkan country as a transit point on their journey to Western Europe.

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