29 arrested in Albania-Italy drug bust

Dope traffickers used SCU pilots to dodge sea patrols

(ANSA) - GENOA, MAR 9 - Police from Genoa on Tuesday arrested 29 people, 15 Italians and 14 Albanians, on charges of smuggling drugs from the Balkan country to Italy under the aegis of the Puglia mafia, the Sacra Corona Unita (United Holy Crown, SCU).
    The gang moved some seven tonnes of hashish, marijuana and cocaine, police said.
    The gang used powerful speed boats, with 500 horsepower engines, driven by expert SCU smugglers, to dodge police sea patrols, police said.
    Some 32 other people have been placed under investigation in the probe.
    The drugs, above all marijuana, were stocked in Puglia and Molise and then moved on to northern Italy, France and Germany, police said.
    Police said the marijuana was souped up with other chemicals to make it comparable in effect to cocaine.
    As well as supplying pushers in Bologna, Florence, and Genova, the gang also supplied the Rome drugs market, police said.


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