TIRANA, Albania – The grandson of the communist dictator who ruled Albania with an iron fist for four decades has been arrested on suspicion of belonging to an international criminal ring that smuggled cocaine from Colombia to western Europe.
Ermal Hoxha, 40, faces a maximum 20-year prison sentence if convicted on charges of drug trafficking and processing. Police said Thursday a further eight Albanians and two Colombians have also been arrested.
Hoxha is the eldest grandson of Enver Hoxha, who governed Albania from 1944 until his death in 1985 — five years before a student revolt overthrew the country's isolationist communist regime.
The arrests followed a raid on a cocaine-processing laboratory in central Albania Wednesday, where police seized 120 kilograms (265 pounds) of the drug, cash and weapons.