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

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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.