Visit highlights UK and Albanian cooperation in the fight against organised crime, drug trafficking, illegal immigration and smuggling.
On 12 April, British Ambassador Nicholas Cannon visited the Port of Durres, together with HE Mr Flamur Noka, Minister of Interior. They visited the facilities of the immigration, port security and customs services and were briefed on the work of these agencies in the fight against organised crime, drug trafficking, illegal immigration and smuggling. Reflecting on this visit at its conclusion, Mr Cannon commented:
For me, this has been a particularly interesting visit. I have been impressed with what I have seen of the arrangements at Durres for port security, customs and immigration controls. I have been struck by the professionalism of the staff involved in this important task and by the support that they receive from the political leadership of this country.
Securing the frontiers is one of the primary duties of any state. Organised crime, drug trafficking, illegal immigration and smuggling are threats to the security of the state, the revenues of government and the safety and well being of the public. In an era of European integration and cross-border criminality, these threats cannot be tackled by any one country alone. So I am pleased with the initiatives taken by Minister Noka and his team to improve levels of cooperation on these issues with the United Kingdom and other partners. My authorities in London are grateful for the assistance we have received so far, and have committed themselves to playing their role in this process of mutual support and exchange of information and expertise.
It is a characteristic of smugglers, organised criminals and drug traffickers that they continually work with great imagination to improve their methods and to find the weaknesses in the working practices and structures of the forces of order. So no police force, immigration service or customs department can remain static in its methods. Instead there must be a constant process of improvement in training, organisation and working methods. Protecting the public through the defence of the frontiers is a noble duty. But it demands tireless effort, endless research and analysis of the methods of the criminal elements, and eternal vigilance. So I would like to express my appreciation for the work of the units entrusted with this duty in Durres and for the support that your families give you in your arduous task, and my best wishes for your efforts in the future.