The renowned international newspaper Financial Times has conducted an in-depth examination of the current political and criminal climate in Albania.
The article begins by discussing the inability of Prime Minister Edi Rama to achieve his promise to crush criminal networks, as well as his involvement in controversies both inside and outside the country.
“Last month, the might of criminal networks in Albania was on display. The police dismantled hundreds of surveillance cameras put by criminals as part of a massive espionage operation designed to spy on rivals and law enforcement “Financial Times writes.
The Prime Minister defended himself by telling a prominent media outlet that fighting crime and traffickers is a top priority for his government.
But, according to the Financial Times, Albanian traffickers have shifted from cannabis to cocaine and heroin, bringing unlawful millions of euros to Albania.
The McGonigal case is also given specific focus in the piece, which highlights that Rama’s reputation outside the country has been hurt by his ties with a former FBI official.
“McGonigal is accused of receiving at least $225,000 from an Albanian intelligence officer to pass information from Rama’s office to US authorities,” according to the Financial Times, which explains that in exchange, the FBI had to open an investigation into a lobbying organization in the United States representing the Albanian opposition. It also highlights opposition leader Sali Berisha’s assertion that Rama’s interactions with McGonigal were responsible for his inclusion on the US blacklist.