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, in connection with 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, The Seaport and the Party Committee of Durrës, where about 30 officials and senior officials of the management chain were dismissed or given severe punitive measures, by the non-commissioned officer of the Border Crossing Point, the Chairman of the Internal Affairs Branch, the Director of The Port, the First Secretary of the Party Committee, Qirjako Mihali, to the Director of State Security, Zylyftar Ramizi, as well as the Minister Hekuran Isai, who was severely reprimanded at the meeting of the Bureau 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, up to the family problems they had.
In the mid-60s, while the famous 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 42 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 crew members 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 about 30 persons of the management chain and senior officials were dismissed or given severe punishments and measures, starting from the non-commissioned officer of the Checkpoint in the Port of Durrës, (who had not properly performed the control of the ship before leaving at sea), the Chairman of the Branch of Internal Affairs, the Director of the Seaport of Durrës, the First Secretary of the Party Committee, Qirjako Mihali, 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, became 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 with the logo“ Top secret ”and have been declassified for some time, making them public for the first time.
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Report of Simon Stefani, secretary of the Central Committee of the ALP covering the organs of the “Dictatorship of the proletariat”, about the event with the ship “Dukati”
R E L A T I O N
ON SOME PROBLEMS RISING FROM THE ESCAPE OF 9 PEOPLE
WITH THE FISHING BOAT “DUKATI” IN THE DURRES DISTRICT
On January 6, 1989, a 9-member hostile group led by the former captain of the Dukati, Enver Meta, hijacked the ship and its crew of seven fishermen and managed to escape to Italy. From the persons of this group, 3 are fishermen, 2 employees in the Port “Enver Hoxha”, 2 employees in N. Qumështit, one in N.N. Port and one on NTUS. They are all from the district of Durrës. Their age is 20 to 30 years old.
This gang carried out the escape by using the reduced vigilance of the communists and the employees, of the Party organization in the Fisheries Enterprise, of the border and the Internal Affairs Branch itself: for the incompetence of the cadres and employees of the internal organs, violation of the rules and control over the entry of people into the territory and fishing vessels, as well as the rules of navigation.
The analysis of this event shows that the appropriate lessons have not been learned from previous events, so even in this case have been identified a number of shortcomings and violations of normative acts and established rules, among the most important of which are:
There is a pronounced liberalism in terms of implementing the established norms and rules.
Many conclusions that emerge from the analysis of this event, have similarities to those they have from some other such serious, such as non-compliance with the rules we have. Thus, in this case, the instruction of August 1984 “On the protection and protection of the sea and air border”, signed by the Ministers of Defense, Interior, Transport and Light Industry and Food, which stipulates that “Ships of RPSSH, commercial and fishing, when they sail in and out of the territorial waters, for every two hours to give to the respective enterprises through the shore liaison station, their location and the latter, to give to BUD ”, has not been implemented for years, has not been prosecuted and has not been held accountable as relevant bodies and individual individuals.
Thus, out of 15 vessels that were on the hunt on 6.1.1989, 11 of them did not make this notice as required. We emphasize that these flagrant violations of the rules were used in this case by the former captain of the ship, who only announced the departure time of 17.40, while he had to announce every two hours, about 7-8 times throughout the night. Had this requirement been properly enforced, the act of this gang could have been prevented.
Violations of the rules of the border regime have been found and criticized other times.
Contrary to all rules, unauthorized persons are allowed to enter and enter the port and fishing region up to the boat. And in other enterprises of the port system, no strict rules have been set for the entry and exit of people. Although funds have been provided for years to build the perimeter wall of the eastern part of the port, and the task has been set to be completed in March 1988, this siege has not yet been completed.
There was a lack of meticulous control on the fishing boats before they left for service. The interest from the company’s staff and ship captains is only for the technical condition of the ships and fishing gear. Even the border control is done with only 1 non-commissioned officer, and in most cases, no detailed physical checks have been made by them. These have been exploited by enemy elements, hiding in our ships and aliens.
The operational situation is not properly recognized by the security body, consequently global work is done. These enemies, although working in various enterprises, managed to organize and carry out the escape. But the important thing is that our Counter-Discovery has not come in contact with anyone. The fact that in the ranks of those who escaped there was also a former (. (This has happened other times), makes you think with what agency the facilities are covered, how safe and qualified is this, etc. We add that this…., For the last two years, has not provided for other persons with a tendency to escape, and no data for other persons with a tendency to escape and no signal for the preparation of this terrorist gang. The possibility that he will be one of its organizers is not excluded. One more…. the other day, the day the escape took place, he did not go to work at all and when asked, once he said that I had a sick father and the second time that he allegedly was ill himself.
The weaknesses in this regard are confirmed by the fact that from 1984 onwards 16 people tried to escape by boat and 11 other people escaped. Of these persons, some were pursued by the State Security for a tendency to escape and escaped the control of these bodies.
From the agency network there is very little data on the tendencies of escape by means of navigation. The operatives and the port agency are more inclined to recognize and detect light and ordinary hostile activities, such as agitation and propaganda, smuggling, theft, technical issues, etc., there is not enough information about the violations of the rules of port and navigation security and little work is done to detect and prevent the tendency to escape and detect the activity of foreign agencies. Order after quantity at the expense of quality, work for fuss and euphoria, displays of comfort and acclimatization to the situation, liberalism and lack of account demand are present in the insurance activity.
Previous and recent events show that in the district of Durrës, foreign intelligence has acted and is operating intensively and subtly. Although over 50% of the problems in the prosecution are for espionage, for years the Security body has not fallen into the current threads of foreign intelligence, despite the constant messages and requests made by the Party leadership.
The above weaknesses prove, among other things, that in the selection, management and control of the agency is not done properly.
III. On the part of the Department of Internal Affairs there was a narrow understanding of the performance of the service in the protection of the port. Although the laws, decisions of the Government and normative acts of the Minister of Internal Affairs clearly define that the Port of Durrës is a restricted border area, contrary to them, by the comrades of the District Branch of the district and the Ministry of Internal Affairs , is recognized as such only a part of the port, the part where the Port Enterprise “Enver Hoxha” is included, while other enterprises around the aquarium of the Port of Durres, are not included in the restricted area. Although for years a study has been done for the increase of forces and the organization of the border service in the whole territory of the port, it has not yet taken the path of solution.
The liberal conception of the port as a border has led to permits for port employees being issued by the enterprise itself and not by the Department of Home Affairs. Also, this has influenced not to persevere enough to take measures for the lighting of the port, its siege, for the provision of vessels and those of interconnection, as well as the necessary material base for the performance of the border service, so as border controllers did not even have beacons to control the interior of the ships. While the connection between the places of military service with the ward was lacking. These concepts and practices should not be allowed and the port of Durres should be valued and treated the same as the border strip.
The work of the Party in the district and in the Internal Branch has not adequately responded to the peculiarities of the Durrës district, the concerns and problems that have arisen in the port in terms of vigilance to prevent hostile activity. The party organization in the Fisheries Enterprise, but also in other port enterprises, those of the border wards and the Internal Affairs Branch and the Party Committee of Durrës District, are not well on guard to implement the Party’s orientations for border regime and relevant laws and regulations.
There are manifestations of expectation and globalization in the Party’s work in addressing and taking measures to solve problems. Although there have been attempts and escapes in the port, case by case, escape, compromise with foreigners, etc., the Party-based organizations have not gathered on their own initiative and have not been forcibly stopped. Thus, for the escape of a person in December 1988, via the ship “February 6”, the grassroots organizations were not preoccupied and did not analyze this event. Of the port-based organization’s 16 organizations, only two were banned. This attitude is justified by them with the fact that “we had no message”. Such attitudes have been maintained on other occasions as well.
Although the District Party Committee has gone to these enterprises, it has dealt with the negative events more in the moralizing plan, of increasing vigilance in general, without dwelling on their causes and taking concrete political-educational and organizational measures. . Even any task set has not been followed. Thus, the District Party Committee had the objective of completing some tasks for securing, strengthening order and regime in the port territory by June 1988, but their implementation has not yet been completed.
Insufficient work with people has created an unfair concept among the communists and the fishing worker that “the greatest danger comes during the time of fishing by foreign vessels” and the danger of the internal enemy element has been underestimated. It was noticeable that the grassroots organization, as well as the bureau of the Fisheries Enterprise Party and that of the Port, tended to deal more with economic problems. The communists did not raise problems and concerns in terms of vigilance and maintaining the purity of the moral-political image of the workers. Thus, the Fisheries Party-based organization and bureau had not dealt with vigilance issues, except when a party member was discussed who, with other fellow fishermen, had entered into relations with the Italians at sea, given and taken fish and spoils. Although there were a number of violations on board the ship, sailing, fishing, sailing notices, etc., no communist had raised a problem with them. Even the crew of the ship that escaped, as far as it turns out, had no particular reaction.
Likewise, the Party-based organizations in the Internal Affairs Branch (with the exception of the one at the Border Checkpoint), were not detained for escaping in December last year or for other cases. Consequently, measures to strengthen the work were also lacking. This was justified by the fact that “we had no order” and they were satisfied with the treatment given to this problem by the state. Even for the negative events that took place at the border nationwide, the Party’s grassroots organizations did not adequately reflect on their conditions.
The above shortcomings speak for the fact that in the activity of organs and organizations – basic there are still manifestations of acclimatization to the situation, of liberalism, and of sick family; there is a lack of control and account requirement.
The event also highlighted the need for some improvements in a number of normative acts.
The instruction of the four ministers has not been analyzed in detail by these bodies, which has led to different interpretations and avoidance of responsibility from each other.
No joint normative acts have been issued on the use of border forces radars and their interaction with the BUD (Naval Military Base).
The decision of the Government instructs the bodies of Post Telegraph that the interconnection of vessels with the respective enterprises should be done only through the radio interconnection of Post Telegraph. From all the companies, as well as from the BUD and the Branch of Internal Affairs, it is raised that the direct interconnection of the ships with the respective companies will have the greatest effectiveness. This has been done in the past.
It is required to improve the liaison between the fishing fleet, the Merchant Fleet and the BUD, by using the telegraph operators, which, although available from the BUD, are not in use. Currently, the connection between BUD and these companies is made by phone, which has led to inaccuracies in obtaining and registering notices for the location of ships and not to reveal the concrete responsibility of the parties.
There is a need for the service at the signaling-observation point of BUD, to be done by a specialized group of 3-4 people, and not by all the officers of the headquarters.
There is room for refinement and strengthening of service rules at Border Crossing Points in general and at ports in particular. Also, there is a need to clarify and better regulate the rules for the interaction of the bodies of Internal Affairs, with the enterprises that have activities in the ports, with the Navy and the Naval Military Base.
A number of staff are responsible for the event:
Comrade Qirjako Mihali, as the first secretary of the District Party Committee, has a great responsibility for all those weaknesses that are observed in the Party organizations of these enterprises, as well as in the organizations of the Border Party and the Internal Affairs Branch. He himself has manifested a lack of vigilance and control over the grassroots organization and the bodies of Internal Affairs, not only for this case, but also for other events in the Port of Durres. For these we propose to be punished with the measure “reprimand with a note on the registration card”.
Comrade Agron Tafa, as chairman of the Internal Affairs Branch in Durrës, apparently did not draw lessons from the analysis made by the Secretariat of the Central Committee of the Party, his work when he was in Tirana and the subsequent events in Durrës and elsewhere. Has done hard work in mastering the operational situation. There are again manifestations of liberalism and lack of control over subordinates, weaknesses in interaction and taking full measures with the Party levers, in guarding and protecting the Border, shortcomings in detecting and preventing hostile activity of the current threads of the agents of the foreign. Has not taken full measures to detect and prevent attempts and escapes by means of navigation. For all this, we propose that he be relieved of his duties.
Comrades Ferit Zeneli and Enver Pata (commander and commissioner of the Border Forces Command) did not take seriously the advice, warnings and measures given by the Party for the proven weaknesses in the border forces. They have had liberal manifestations and attitudes in the exercise of assistance and control over the organs and wards at the base. The control and accountability of the Border Command staff at the center has been weak. They have manifested narrow meanings and manifestations of formalization, stereotyping and shallowness in the organization and performance of the border service and the Seaport. There are manifestations of globalization, routine and bias in the pursuit of tasks. For this we propose to be punished with “serious remarks with a note on the registration card” and to be warned to strengthen all the work of the regime at the border.
For this event, the most responsible comrades in the Ministry of Internal Affairs, especially those of the 1st Directorate of State Security and those of the Command and Staff of the Border Forces, have a heavy responsibility, who should be warned and analyzed. with a high sense of responsibility these events and take measures to strengthen the work and control throughout the apparatus and subordinate organs and units, establishing a strong military discipline in all their work./Memorie.al
SECRETARY OF THE CENTRAL COMMITTEE OF THE ALP
Tirana, on 13.1.1989