Memorie.al publishes some unknown archival documents extracted from the Central State Archive (fund of the former Central Committee of the ALP) and the Archive of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which are made public for the first time, where there is a correspondence of the main officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, with the Italian Embassy in Tirana and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Rome, regarding the event of January 6, 1989, when the ship “Dukati” while sailing in the Adriatic Sea, was hijacked by its captain, Enver Meta, who had hidden eight of his comrades on the ship’s premises and with them, held hostage the seven crew members, until they left for the port of Brindisi. The whole chronology of that serious event that had a great echo in the Italian press, which not only caused a strong diplomatic clash between official Tirana and Rome, but caused a great storm in the ranks of the Ministry of Interior in Tirana, where 15 senior officials of the management chain were dismissed or severely punished, from the non-commissioned officer of the Border Crossing Point in the Port of Durrës, to the Director of State Security, Zylyftar Ramizi, as well as the Minister Hekuran Isai , who was severely reprimanded at the Bureau meeting that continued for several days under the leadership of Ramiz Alia, where there were strong clashes between its members, with mutual accusations of abuse and misuse, and even family problems. that they had.
In the mid-60s, while the well-known writer and researcher, Nasho Jorgaqi, was writing the screenplay for the film “Silent Duel”, which was based on a real event that took place in the first years after the war in the port of Durres and territorial waters in the Adriatic Sea (an event which even today carries with it many mysteries and has not yet been solved), would never have occurred to him, that that event would be repeated point by point, full 55 years later, in January 1989. But unlike the beginning of June 1947, when the sailor Spiro Kote (played in the film by the great Rikard Ljarja), managed to return the ship to the Port of Durres, after having killed three The crew, led by “Captain Ramiun”, the captain of the ship “Dukati”, managed to escape from Albania together with eight of his friends who were hiding in the ship, anchoring him in the port of Brindisi, after had held hostage the seven members of the equator pazhit in the barns of the ship. This serious event and at the same time one of the most unusual stories that happened in the last three decades that had a great echo in the Italian press, not only caused a real storm in the ranks of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of that time, where were dismissed or given severe punishments and punitive measures for 15 persons of the management chain, from the non-commissioned officer of the Checkpoint in the Port of Durrës, (who had not properly performed the control of the ship before going to sea), until to the Director of State Security, Zylyftar Ramizi, as well as the Minister of Internal Affairs, Hekuran Isai, who was severely reprimanded at the meeting of the Politburo that took place for several days under the leadership of Ramiz Alia. Where as rarely ever, all members of the Politburo of the Central Committee of the ALP, got involved in fierce debates with each other, with mutual accusations of abuse, misuse and even their family problems. Regarding the above, that is, since the unusual event of January 6, 1989, the negotiations of the Albanian government with the Italian one for the return to Albania of the “terrorist group” of eight people headed by, Enver Meta, who were implicated in drug smuggling ”etc., the investigative process against them in Durrës, as well as the long and very irritated meetings of the Politburo, Memorie.al has two voluminous files which have been labeled“ Top secret ”and have been declassified for some time, will make them public for the first time since today’s issue in this post.
Information of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for the Italian embassy: “Give us the terrorists of the ship ‘Dukati’, they are drug smugglers, etc.”
PEOPLE’S SOCIALIST REPUBLIC OF ALBANIA
MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS
Nr. 40 Tirana, on 7.I.1989
EMBASSY OF THE ITALIAN REPUBLIC
T I R A N Ë
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of Albania presents its compliments to the Embassy of the Italian Republic and has the honor to announce them to be transmitted to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Italy, as follows:
On January 6, 1989, at around 22:00, during fishing in the Adriatic Sea, the fishing boat “Dukati” with a crew of 9 people, owned by the Fishing Enterprise of the city of Durrës, was forcibly hijacked. The terrorists used pressure and violence against 7 crew members, who locked them in the cabins. The terrorist group consisted of: Enver Meta, Bardhyl Vogli, as well as Artan Serjani, Ilir Dervishi, Skënder Vogli, Mustafa Meta, Agron Dervishi, Qemal Nikshiqi and Azem Shelmi. Some of these persons were prosecuted by the police for their drug smuggling links, while others were implicated in other criminal offenses.
The terrorists diverted the ship “Dukati” and took it near the Port of Brindisi in Italy, in order to escape legal punishment for their criminal activity.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Socialist Republic of Albania asks the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Italian Republic, in the spirit of good neighborly relations, to intervene with the relevant authorities to assist the return of the fishing boat to Albania. “Dukati”, together with the seven members of its crew, as well as to immediately hand over, in accordance with the known norms of international law, to the relevant Albanian authorities, the nine terrorists.
Awaiting a prompt response, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Socialist Republic of Albania, reiterates to the Embassy of the Italian Republic, the expressions of its highest consideration.
Tirana, January 7, 1989
Deputy Minister Sokrat Plaka: “Mr. Ambassador, the terrorists diverted the course of the ship, to escape legal punishment…”
I N F O R M A T I O N
On January 7, 1989, Comrade Sokrat Plaka, urgently called the Italian Ambassador, Giorgio De Andreis, to whom he handed over a note regarding our fishing boat “Dukati”. Informing him according to the content of the note, Comrade Socrates told the Italian ambassador that on January 6, 1989, at around 8 pm, while fishing in the Adriatic Sea, the fishing boat “Dukati” was forcibly abducted by an organized gang of terrorists. with a crew of 9 people. The terrorists used pressure and violence against the 7 crew members who were locked in the cabins. The captain of the ship with another crew member was also in the group of terrorists. He told you that some of these people were being prosecuted by our police for their links to drug smugglers, while others were implicated in other criminal offenses. The terrorists diverted the ship “Dukati” and took it near the port of Brindisi, in order to escape legal punishment for their criminal activity. He also told you that the Italian side has been asked to send a captain to bring the ship to Albania. Comrade Socrates then pointed out to the ambassador that the Adriatic Sea is calm and peaceful and we are concerned that such things happen in it. He stressed to the ambassador that the Albanian ship was forced to enter Brindisi, but it is important that there were no casualties. He asked at the same time if the sailors of the fishing boat were Albanian citizens residing in Albania.
I think, said the Italian ambassador, that in Italy a legal procedure will be opened to address this problem.
This problem, stressed Comrade Socrates, is a good opportunity to show our common fight against terrorism.
In the end, the ambassador, De Andreis, said that I kept notes and I assure you that we will act quickly. Asked if we would send a captain to take the ship. He told you that a captain was being prepared to send him to Brindisi.
Information of Ambassador Qazim Tepshi: “We asked the Italian side to extradite us to the terrorist group”
MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS
T I R A N Ë
I N F O R M A T I O N
ON FOLLOWING THE PROBLEM OF THE SHIP “DUKATI”
On January 7, 1989, on Saturday, once after receiving, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs arrived in Brindisi to follow the problem born in the fishmonger “Dukati”, comrades Genci Gjoka and Mehmet Musallari left for the scene. who arrived in Brindisi on the afternoon of 7 January.
Necessary contacts were immediately made with the personnel of the boat “Dukati”, the border police in the port of Brindisi and the captaincy of the port, from whom the first information about the event was obtained. The first impression from the contacts with the police authorities and the port captaincy, were good. The people who were contacted, such as the chief police inspector, the captain of the port captaincy and other police officials, were very correct, they were approachable and predisposed to talk about the problem, how they knew and thought about it. They were ready to accept the interrogation of seven people of the crew of the boat “Dukati” in our presence, agreeing with our being in our role, in this case, according to Italian law, the conditions for granting political asylum of nine persons. According to them, the granting of political asylum is conditional on a series of conditions, among which the persons seeking it, must not have committed such acts, to be punishable under Italian law. In fact, all the acts that have been committed by this group, from taking the boat, its abusive use, kidnapping the staff and taking it against the will to another place, violence used, pressures and threats that have been made, etc. . They constitute a sufficient basis for not being granted political asylum. On the other hand, with these acts that they have committed, it is completely legal for us to request extradition and for the Italian side to return without any conditions, all the Albanians of this terrorist group.
On Sunday we asked for an appointment with the quaestor to see his predisposition to solve the problem and to see the possibility of getting in touch with the fleeing group. The questor received us quite correctly and was ready to fulfill any of our requests, but emphasizing that, does not go beyond his competencies. Regarding the problem of the group of nine people who had sought political asylum, he said that it was not within his competence to decide. He said that the commander of the boat, Enver Meta, was arrested by order of the Deputy Prosecutor of Brindisi, Domeniko Catenasi and everything in his direction is done only by order of the Deputy Prosecutor himself, while for others their situation has not been clarified yet and no no meeting may be held without an order from the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
On Monday we got in touch with the mayor of Brindisi and Deputy Prosecutor Domenico Catenessi. The prefect was correct, but said he could not do anything, as the problem had passed into the competence of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The same thing was said by the Questor, whom we met again in the offices of the prefecture of the deputy prosecutor, D. Catenassi, said that he had not yet asked the former captain of the boat and that until that moment they could not talk about problem. In the meeting with the Deputy Prosecutor was also present the lawyer Roza Cardone, who was called by us to give an opinion on how to proceed with the problem. From the conversation with D. Catenassin, nothing was specified. He was quite rigid in giving explanations, although he said that he had not asked the arrested Enver Meta, “because he was busy with work”, in fact it became clear that the real reason was that he had not found an interpreter. They had recently managed to find translators, apparently an elderly Albanian living in Brindisi, whose name was not disclosed to us, but who we think may have been Albanian, Ndoc Shiroka.
From this moment we did not manage to deepen everything in this direction. The port authorities told us that there was no obstacle to the departure of the boat and the staff in Albania, as soon as the problem of time and the provision of good atmospheric conditions were clarified. With the arrival of the boat “Himara”, everything was settled in order, after the captain arrived for the boat “Dukati”. So on Monday at noon, both boats were launched.
To clarify the legal situation of the problem, we talked at length with lawyer Roza Cardone and lawyer Antonio Valordenk, friends of our country who have their offices in Bari and Adefija, and it turns out that the event is a criminal act for which nine people are responsible. persons who have sought political asylum in Italy. According to Italian law and international law, the commander of the ship “Dukati” E. Meta, his collaborator sailor, Bardhyl Vogli and the 7 other people who had boarded a secret ship, must be charged and arrested patient immediately for:
Kidnapping of the boat “Dukati” and diversion of the road for purposes other than the purpose of navigation:
Kidnapping of the crew of the ship “Dukati”:
Damage to the ship during the hijacking (breakage of the power line, spear, breaking windows) and during its collision in the sand:
Appropriation of the property of the Albanian state, the ship, with abusive purposes:
Use of violence, intimidation, insult and threat to the life of the boat crew:
Performing the above acts in a group of more than 4 people:
To these criminal acts can be added other acts that are suspected or prosecuted by the police, such as drug trafficking, smuggling, cooperation with crime, etc.
Failure to arrest 8 people is in fact a violation of Italian law. The arrest warrant should have been issued for all 9 persons, even if only by abducting and diverting the boat, which is also the most serious act. This act is considered similar to hijacking.
Based on the above, it is necessary for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, on behalf of the Albanian government, on the basis of the data of the Durrës investigation and the request of the Durrës Prosecutor’s Office, to request the immediate extradition of 9 persons. based on the motives given above and others that may be available.
P R O C E S S – V E R B A L
W I T N E S S
In the city of Durrës, on 10.1.1989
In the investigators, Bashkim Asllani and Agim Ferizaj, of the district investigation, in the presence of the district prosecutor Spiro Peçi, we interrogated the witness, Vasil Lefter Koçillari, of dtl. 28.02.1952, born and living in the city of Durrës, neighborhood no.11 Rr. “Dëshmorët”, building 266, with 8th grade education, worker on the ship “Dukati”, with the duty of motorcyclist, never convicted.
Witness Vasil Koçillari was warned about his criminal responsibility under Article 202 of the Criminal Code for perjury.
Question: Witness Vasil Koçillari, explain to us, what do you know about the activity carried out by the former captain of the ship “Dukati”, and his gang on the night of January 6, dawning on January 7, 1989?
Answer: I have been an employee of the Durrës Fisheries Enterprise since 1976. From May 1987, I worked on the ship “Dukati”. The captain of the ship “Dukati”, was recently appointed Enver Meta and accompanied by fisherman Bardhyl Vogli. Both of them have previously been on the ship “Dalip Lala”. From the beginning, we other members of the ship’s crew found that the ship’s captain, Enver Meta, had a lot of company with Bardhyl Vogli, they always stayed and talked together.
The crew of the ship “Dukati” consists of nine people. Specifically were: Captain Enver Meta, Brigadier Riza Vokshi, the first motorcyclist was me, the second Agron Guza and fishermen Bardhyl Vogli, Sokol Bicaku, Adrian Lako, Fisnik Koçi, Andrea Filjari, Bujar Dalani and Bujar Shullani. But with dt. January 6, 1989, the last two Bujar Dalani and Bujar Shullani, did not show up for work.
Me dt. January 6, 1989, at 3:00 pm as usual I went to work, to meet the crew friends to go fishing. I met with fellow crew members. Once the captain received the necessary documentation, they went aboard. Around 17.00 we set out for fishing in the Adriatic Sea. We usually hunt for sardines, and in this case we went fishing for sardines. After leaving about 20 miles, away from the port of Durres, we took measures to collect the fish by means of lights and later to throw the nets to fish.
We also ate dinner as usual, then the ship’s captain ordered us to sleep. I as usual went to sleep in my room. After entering my room, I lay down to sleep, I heard the sound of the big engine. This bothered me because the ship did not have to sail. I tried to leave the room but found that the door was locked from the outside. I shouted loudly, none of the friends were answering me. Then I was more worried. I kept shouting loudly, knocking on the door to be opened. At this time I heard the voice of Bardhyl Vogli who told me: “Do not play Vasil from the room and do not make any attempt, because we will kill you.” In this case, Bardhyl with the help of an iron lever, shot at the oblique glass to hit me. The lever hit me in the head below the right eye, causing me injuries. Then I realized that our ship had been hijacked by Bardhyl Vogli and other bandits and that they were going to flee abroad. I tell Bardhyl that after being dirty, you are kidnapping and robbing the ship of the Albanian state, you are clowns, and other words. He told me: “Stay calm because you will eat the bullet in the head.” In this situation I tried to open the door by force, but I found that there were guards at the door and they were waiting for me to be hit and killed as soon as I came out. Shocked and afraid that the bandits who had robbed the Albanian ship would kill me, I stayed alone in my room, until the ship arrived in Brindisi. Around 05.30 the hijacked ship arrived in Brindisi, Italy. From the small window I determined that we were in the port of a foreign country, but I did not know whose port this was, but I thought it must belong to the Italian state. The ship had fallen to the ground and was not moving despite the efforts of the bandits who had robbed it. I understood this from the noise of the engine and the collision of the ship on the ground. Some time later, than I can not determine, because I was confused and scared, because I thought that the gang that hijacked the ship would kill me, came to the door of Fisnik Doçi’s room. He just learned that I too had been locked inside, took a lever and exploded the key with force. After he opened the door for me, he told me that the bandits had locked him in another room as well, and after they had left he had slammed the door open. After I got out, I saw a boat in which the bandits had boarded and were going to the pier. Besnik and I went to the dormitory of the ship, after we saw that this room was also locked from the outside, Besnik and I opened it with levers, breaking the door. In this room, the bandits had locked our friends: Riza Vokshi, Sokol Bicaku, Andrea Filjari, and Ardian Lako. In the end we found that the ship’s refrigerator was locked, we opened it by force, and we found there another friend Agron Buza. We quickly tried to pull the boat out of place and catch the gang that had robbed it, but we failed because it had taken its place and was not moving. Riza Vokshi, immediately connected by radio with the port of Durrës and informed the Fishing Enterprise that the ship “Dukati” had been robbed by its captain, Enver Meta, together with Bardhyl Vogli and some other bandits and we are in Brindisi, Italy . The bandits left by boat while we 7 fishermen are on the boat. They received an order from the Fisheries Company not to move from the boat and to ask for help from the Brindisi port captaincy to return. Of the bandits who robbed the ship, I only knew Captain Enver Meta, Bardhyl Vogli, and Qemal Niksic, I did not know the others, but I saw from a distance that there were approximately 10 people on the boat.
Later, the Italian authorities came to us and asked us about the event, we told them that the ship was robbed by its captain Enver Meta, together with a group of bandits, including Bardhyl Vogli. The bandits locked us inside, used violence against us, shot us with levers and other tools, and threatened to kill us. We told them that the robbed ship belongs to the Albanian state, the Fishing Enterprise of the city of Durrës. We demanded that the group of thugs be punished for the activity carried out, for the robbery of the ship and the violence used against us.
The comrades of the ship also told me about the actions of the bandits led by Enver Meta. They also threatened them with a knife, that they would kill them, they tied Fisnik Doçi by legs and hands, then locked him inside, while Agron Guzë was threatened by 4-5 people at once with knives and then they locked him in the refrigerator room.
The robbers of the ship had made the plan a long time ago, those who at the beginning when we left Durrës hid their friends in the refrigerator of the ship and after traveling 20 or 21 miles, acted forcefully against us and robbed the ship.
I request from the competent authorities that the captain of the ship “Dukati” bandit Enver Meta together with his gang, who robbed the ship be punished for both the robbery of the ship and the violence they used against us, threatening us with murder and beating from me.
I read the minutes myself and after I saw that my words were written correctly I signed them with my signature.
INVESTIGATIVE O F F I C E R S
VASIL KOCILLARI BASHKIM ASLLANI
A S I S T S