Memorie.al publishes an accurate document extracted from the State Central Archive in Tirana (fund of the former Central Committee of the ALP), which bears the “secret” logo and belongs to 1987, where there is a report-information of the Albanian ambassador Idriz Bardhi, who was serving in Vienna at the time, informed his superiors at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Tirana about the incident that had happened to the diplomat of the Albanian embassy in Prague, Vullnet Thanasi, who had been arrested by the Austrian police authorities. after being caught at one of the Austrian border customs with 3,000 packs of Marlboro cigarettes trying to be smuggled. The whole unknown story of Hysni Kapos’s nephew, who in the late 1970s when he served as a State Security officer, through a letter sent to Enver Hoxha, accused his superior, Deputy Minister of Works of Interior, Feçor Shehu, who was also the Director of State Security, as an agent of UDB…!? His dismissal after that letter and sending as a simple employee to Bulqiza prison where he worked until 1982 when Feçor Shehu was arrested and sending him to the Albanian embassy in Prague, where he was arrested for “cigarette smuggling”, e after the three champions of ‘Ward 326’ brought the ‘postal package’ to Tirana, he ended up in prison again, but this time with handcuffs in his hands, as a political prisoner… !?
In the last week of August 1987, at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Tirana, by means of a coded telegram with the initials ‘Top Secret’, an unusual information report arrived. The Albanian Ambassador in Vienna, Idriz Bardhi, informed his superiors in Tirana about a very serious event that took place on August 21 on the border between Austria and Czechoslovakia. In the seven-page report, he described in detail the arrest of Albanian diplomat Vullnet Thanasi by Austrian police authorities, who accused him of “cigarette smuggling” after he was caught red-handed with 300 packs of cigarettes, which were found in his car with diplomatic license plates.
According to Ambassador Bardhi, the Austrian newspaper “KURIER” had written about this event, a copy of which he had attached to the report-information in question, which he had urgently sent to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. But who was Vullnet Thanasi, what was his past, how was he recruited in the ranks of the Albanian diplomatic service and what consequences did he have from that event, when even after he was released from arrest (after the fat payment made by the Albanian side in a “gentlemen’s agreement” with the official Austrian authorities), he jumped out of the car after punching his colleague diplomat (Kujtim Myzyri) and fled towards the Czechoslovak border ?!
Related to this, as well as the event of his arrest by the Czechoslovak secret services and the bringing of “postal packages” to Tirana by his former colleagues of the Albanian secret service (State Security and those of the Special Forces RENEA), are all things unknown, as they were never made public after the ’90s and there is no written line about them?! This is also due to the fact that personally Vullnet Thanasi himself, or even his former colleagues, have never agreed to make this public, covering more and more with mystery that distant event of the past 33 years?! (Maybe also for the fact that he “paid” for the mistake he made while suffering in prison in Qafë-Bari ?!)
The only one who has written several lines regarding the event in question of Vullnet Thanasi, is Hil Lushaku (former commander for years of Special Forces, Department 326 of the Ministry of Interior), who in his book SPECIALS, ELITA OF THE ALBANIAN POLICE ”(Publications Mirgeerealb, Tirana 2015, p. 354), among others in the portrait he makes of his colleague, Labo Gani Çapo, states:“ Remembering the training and services of that time, he (Labo Çapo), brings to attention a “special” service successfully performed by a group of selected sambo wrestlers (Muharrem Abazi at the helm), who went to Prague and accompanied to Albania an Albanian diplomat, called Vullnet Thanasi, very well trained physically, which dictated the need for highly skilled sambo wrestlers in all directions.
But even after these few lines of Mr. Lushaku, one of the well-known leading figures of the Ministry of Internal Affairs after the ’90s, the event of the “kidnapping” of Vullnet Thanasi in Czechoslovakia and his behavior “postal package” in Albania in 1987, remains a mystery?! And what is already known about him, is only the event that became the reason for his arrest, which is made known only by these already declassified archival documents and published for the first time, exclusively by Memorie.al
Report-information of Ambassador Idriz Bardhi in Vienna, for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Tirana
follows from the previous number
EMBASSY OF THE SOCIALIST PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC TO ALBANIA IN AUSTRIA
Nr. 183 Prot. Coming on 26.8.1987
MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS
T I r an ë
Attached we are sending you information about the incident that happened with Vullnet Thanasi, as well as the copy of the newspaper “Kurier” dated August 24, 1987 for this event.
A M B A S A D O R I
I N F O R M A C I O N
Likewise, the customs officers have only ascertained that this quantity of cigarettes was in the car and this does not constitute a violation of the law for the illegal import of cigarettes in Austria, or for their sale to third parties for profit, because we have not yet clarified the issue and we do not know for whom and what destination these cigarettes are.
Therefore, we think that the facts are not completely clear and we should ask both in our embassy, whether they are for the receptions that we organize, and Vullnet Thanasi, who is here in our presence, but with whom we have not yet talked and clarified the matter, all the more so when he tells us that he did not get along well with the customs officers at the border!
Inspector Zips and a prosecutor who was nearby, told us that Vullnet Thanasi is accused of smuggling cigarettes, because when asked by the customs officer, if there are other cigarettes besides the declared pack, he said that there are not. The amount of 300 stacks was later found and this is a violation of Austrian law. As such, we have the right to detain Vullnet Thanasi in the customs prison, until the guarantee of 70,000 shillings is paid, for his release.
Meanwhile, Vullnet Thanasi told our friends that he was very worried about his wife and two children, whom he had left in the border town of Znajm, at 2:30 pm and did not know anything about their fate!
He also told our friends that he was in grave error and guilt, but wanted us to take an interest in his wife and children. The comrades told him not to worry, that they would take measures so that nothing would happen to them.
Then our comrades told the customs officials correctly, that it has never happened that an Albanian diplomat was kept imprisoned, especially in Austria, with which we have good friendly relations. They also demanded that this vague case be resolved in a spirit of understanding, especially when there were humanitarian causes, such as the detainee’s wife and two children being in a border town, waiting for him to return and there must be many worried.
Despite our arguments, the officials insisted that the bail be paid in advance, or else Vullnet Thanasi would remain in prison. After our insistence on finding a solution, Inspector Zips said that the release could only be made if it was clarified that the cigarettes were for our embassy in Vienna and were withdrawn in a regular way, through a statement confirmed by the Austrian Foreign Ministry.
After that we consulted on the phone with the ambassador and other friends of the embassy who were at the Embassy and it was initially decided to make a written statement and with the embassy stamp, that the amount of 300 packs of “Marlboro” cigarettes was destined for the embassy ours. This statement was definitely required by the customs. After this declaration was brought to the customs, all the above, the process drafted at the border, the depositions of Vullnet Thanasi as well as the content of our declaration were thrown in a record, which was signed by Vullnet Thanasi and the representative of our embassy.
Customs officials said that after that, Vullnet Thanasi was free to leave and that it was not necessary for him to appear at customs for further clarification. They also said that the case would be kept closed and would not be published and that cigarettes could be withdrawn upon submission of the statement approved by the Austrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Throughout the event and the talks, Vullnet Thanasi seemed shocked, but he had not lost his mental balance and logic.
Our friends exchanged a few words with him and made it clear from the beginning that they were making efforts to free him from arrest. Our friends found out that his passport was forged, he only had the embassy stamps and a forged signature of our Deputy Foreign Minister. Throughout this event at the customs offices, Austrian officials were shown to be correct and willing to find a solution that did not violate their law. To bring the statement of our Embassy, came to the customs offices and comrades Mitro Ziko and Klime Prifti, and all together with Vullnet Thanasi, we left the customs. In the lobby of the office where the conversation took place were placed on a table all the packs of cigarettes, which were seen by all the friends who were present. After we left the customs, no conversation took place between our friends and Vullnet Thanasi, who together with friends Mitro and Kujtim, got in the car that Petrit was driving, standing in the back seat together with friend Kujtim.
After we had left about one kilometer from the customs offices, the car where Vullnet Thanasi was, stopped at a traffic light. In front of her was a car with friends Klime and Ilir, driven by friend Andon Koka. At the time when the green signal was expected to open, in the car where Vullnet Thanasi was, a call was heard and when Mitro and Petrit’s friends turned their heads to see what happened, they saw that Vullnet, after shooting Kujtim in the face with a fist, had quickly opened the car door and was running along the road in the opposite direction. Comrades Petrit, Klime, Mitro and Ilir immediately followed him. After 250 meters, he turned left and continued running to a crossroads where there was a park, several yards and and residential apartments.
The lighting in this place was poor and he lost sight of our comrades. From all the friends present, the whole area was searched and searched in detail, without being able to find it. This happened around 10:30 p.m. After the comrades returned to the Embassy, they dispersed into several groups, checking train stations, the airport, bus and subway stations. A group of friends immediately left for the border crossing, thinking that he could return to get back the car and the family he had left in Znajm. They waited there for several hours. The search continued all night and throughout the next day. Throughout the course of the event, it was not hinted by all the comrades that he would be treated harshly, without scolding him and without saying any harsh words. The handling of the matter was done with wisdom and correctness. We then followed your instructions.
A M B A S A D O R I
Vullnet Thanasi, one of the 8 nephews of Hysni Kapos who suffered in Enver Hoxha’s political prisons!
Vullnet Thanasi, the former State Security officer and then the “diplomat” at the Albanian embassy in Prague, after the event mentioned in the document of the Albanian ambassador, Idriz Bardhi, in Vienna, did not last long! According to some testimonies of his colleagues, former senior officials of the State Security at that time, with an order cut from ‘above’ (it is specifically about Ramiz Alia), measures were taken immediately to find him and after he was located the place where he was hiding behind that event, there were also sent three sampiers from the most powerful and trained of the Special Unit 326 in Tirana, who will bring that ‘postal package’ to Tirana, by sea, ‘landing’ in Port of Durrës. From where he was then given to the court, to end up as a political prisoner in camps and prisons, where he stayed until the fall of the communist regime of Enver Hoxha, where his uncle had been figured no. Two, until 1979 when he passed away. But, Vullnet Thanasi was not the only one of the relatives of Hysni Kapos who would suffer for several years in the prisons of the communist regime of Enver Hoxha and his successor, Ramiz Alia?!
He was even the last, because before him, seven other nephews of Hysni Kapos (sons of brothers and sisters), before him were accused of various political crimes and had served different sentences in the camps and prisons of the communist regime. Where their uncle and uncle, (Hysniu), was one of the most powerful people after Enver Hoxha, who was directly subordinated (as secretary of the Central Committee of the ALP), the organs of the “Dictatorship of the Proletariat”, as the Ministry Internal Affairs, People’s Defense, State Security, Prosecution, Investigation, etc. The sentences of Hysni Kapos’s nephews had started in the first years after the war, with one of them (brother’s son), who served as Ramiz Alia’s driver, they had continued with another (brother’s son), who was arrested for ” escape attempt ”in the heart of Albania (in the city of“ Stalin ”), to culminate in the mid-1970s with Aladin Kapo (son of Sulejman Kapos, Hysni’s brother), a Merchant Navy officer in Durrës, who was brought bound by State Security officers and disembarked from the ship “Dajti” in the Port of Durres, after being previously accused (along with his friend and colleague, Maks Rakipi) of agitation and propaganda, espionage and smuggling floriri ”.
His arrest was made with the “approval” of Hysni Kapos, who when he sent the file for signature, the Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs and at the same time the Director of State Security, Feçor Shehu and asked him: “What will we do with this… “, Hysniu replied:” In prison, like everyone else, such as the rules of the Party and the laws of the state… “?! These things, the history of the sentences of Hysni Kapos’s nephews, are already known from a public utterance of one of the nephews of Hysni Kapos, the famous musician Vladimir Kapo, for the author of this article (Dossier, Gazeta Shqiptare, 2003), who narrated them at length and in detail, which was also related to the power struggle (for no. two, as descendants of Enver Hoxha), between Hysni Kapos and Mehmet Shehu.
Where it was said that: Mehmeti encouraged Kadri Hazbi and Feçorr Shehu, for the punishment of the nephews of Hysni Kapos, always in function of “implication and stain” of the figure of Kapos But it is also said that this thing, ie the punishment of Hysni Kapos’s nephews, could never have happened, without the consent and approval of Enver Hoxha, who in a way incited the war between them to learn as much as possible about both his deputies to hold them hostage…?! Memorie.al