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Albania court jails drug trafficker for 10 years

TIRANA, Albania (AP) — An Albanian drug trafficker who went on the run for three years has been sentenced to 10 years in prison. Tirana's Serious Crimes Court on Tuesday convicted Kelmend Balili of drug trafficking and money laundering.

Balili, a former senior official at the local administration in the southern city of Saranda, surrendered in January after going on the run for three years following an arrest warrant issued by neighboring Greece, which accused him of being the head of a drug trafficking ring.

Fighting organized crime, drug trafficking and corruption are top priorities for Albania, which is seeking to launch full membership negotiations with the European Union later this year.

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