World

Albanian police seize 3.2 tons of cannabis in major sweep, growers escape

Police in southern Albania say they have seized 3.2 metric tons (7,000 pounds) of cannabis as part of a major anti-drugs operation in the Balkan country.

A statement Friday said the cannabis was found in a mountainous area near Gjirokastra, 220 kilometers (135 miles) south of the capital Tirana, and that a large quantity had already been harvested.

No arrests were made, and police named no suspects.

Once a secluded communist country, Albania has become a major cannabis producer, prompting authorities to carry out regular eradication campaigns, backed by heavily armed police squads.

According to the government, a campaign last year destroyed cannabis that would have sold for 7 billion euros ($8.5 billion) per year, equivalent to two-thirds of the country's gross domestic product.