Albania arrests Spanish drug trafficking suspect

TIRANA, Albania (AP) — Albanian police say they have arrested a Spanish man suspected of being involved in the smuggling of 250 kilograms (550 pounds) of cocaine seized in neighboring Montenegro.

Police said the 35-year-old Spaniard was detained Tuesday at Tirana international airport while trying to board a flight leaving the country. In a statement released Thursday, police said he has been charged with collaborating in drug trafficking and could face up to 15 years in prison.

Authorities in Montenegro seized the cocaine last week on a cargo ship carrying bananas from Ecuador to Albania. An initial investigation into the company importing the bananas has not shown any link to the suspect, police said.

Albania and Montenegro are major transit routes for drugs smuggled from South America and Asia to Europe.

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