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Montenegrin Police Arrest 25 People In Drug Bust

PODGORICA (Reuters) -- Montenegrin police have arrested 25 people suspected of smuggling tons of marijuana from Albania, an official said, in the latest big drug bust as the two countries clamp down on crime in their bid to join the EU.

Both countries have stepped up border security and the joint activities of law enforcement agencies in the last few months.

Media reports on February 27 said a police officer and a low-ranking government official were among those arrested in the biggest single drug bust in the Balkan country since December.

The suspects, belonging to seven crime clans, smuggled 2.5 tons of "extra-strong marijuana also known as skunk" from Albania via Montenegro to neighboring Serbia and Bosnia, police spokeswoman Tamara Popovic said.

Popovic said in a joint action, Albanian police recently arrested another six people in connection with the case. She did not elaborate further.

In December, Montenegrin law enforcement agencies arrested 19 people and seized some 550 kilograms of narcotics.

The mountainous border between Montenegro and Albania is frequently used for trafficking drugs, weapons, and people.