Memorie.al publishes the unknown story of cigarette smuggling during the Zog Monarchy period, which took place mainly in the Cold Water area on the coast of Vlora, where smugglers from Brindisi came by small boats and after turning off the engines to avoid detection. from the finance border guards, they approached the shore to unload the goods to their associates. How did the newspaper “Ora” describe the date of July 26 and August 31, 1930, with publisher Kostë Çekrezi, cigarette smuggling on the coast of Vlora and that of the land border with Greece in the area of Konispol, where in the village of Vervan, border guards They managed to catch some Greek smugglers, who in cooperation with a villager from that area, Adil Osmani, tried to compromise the border post commander, lieutenant Tahir Hoxha, but did not succeed.
Three o’clock after midnight on July 26. A boat carrying smuggled cigarettes from Brindisi has turned off its engine and lights and is approaching in great secrecy on the Cold Water coast, on the outskirts of the city of Vlora. Upon receiving the notice, the navy ship is put in pursuit of it, urging it to stop. But seeing that they had been discovered, the smugglers turned on the engines and tried to leave at high speed for the high seas. The naval ship flies in their direction with machine guns, forcing them to stop at Pasha-Liman.
The event, which appears to be detached from newspaper articles or television newscasts of the day, usually describes the efforts of police and the Coast Guard, with criminal groups of drug traffickers or cigarette smugglers trying to smuggle goods and goods. to them in Albania, belongs to a past period. For the past 90 years, on July 26, 1930, military naval vessels followed cigarette smugglers across the sea. This is evidenced by the following article published by Memorie.al, which we have taken from the Albanian press of 1930, which reflects the events in question.
Cigarette boat discovery
In one of its issues of July 26, 1930, the daily newspaper “ORA” with publisher and owner, Kostë Çekrezin, published as its main article with large capital letters, the news of the capture of a stack of smuggled cigarettes in the port of Vlora . The big headline on the front page “In the Liman of Vlora was caught a boat with smuggled cigarettes”, was accompanied by three small subtitles, which read: “A Dramatic Tracking of a Smuggled Barke”, “Mass” of the National Navy He shoots Mitroloza and forces Barka to Stop Pasha Limanin, “A Quantity of Cingare Letters Thrown to the End of the Sea.”
After these headlines, the newspaper in question has described in detail the whole event that took place on the coast of Vlora. Regarding this, among other things, it says:
“Vlora, July 25. At dawn on Wednesday, in the middle of the night, some people learned that a motorboat, which had departed from Brindisi and was carrying cingari papers and other items such as smuggling, was approaching the Ftoftë Waters, on a motorbike. turned off and off. At once the authorities were notified, who with the “Masin” (ship, our note) of the National Navy, ran to the place where the boat was headed. But the smugglers noticed that they had been discovered and were in danger, started the engine and started to leave the open sea. Authorities then unloaded several rifles from Masi to alert the boat to stop and as it was moving at a higher speed, they began to empty the machine gun and simultaneously develop the ship’s speed. The pursuit has been almost dramatic and I continue for a long time and exactly until 3 o’clock in the middle of the night, when I mean they tightened the boat to stop there by Pasha Limani ”.
Capture of 3 smugglers in Pasha Liman
After describing the first part of the event where boats with smuggled cigarettes were detected near Cold Water and its pursuit by the border naval forces, who were forced to shoot with light weapons and machine guns in its direction, in the main article of the newspaper “ORA”, for this event is described the arrest of three smugglers by the military authorities of the Port of Vlora and the seizure of the goods that were found in the boat. In this regard, it reads: “Masi” and the boat then returned to our port, and after putting a guard to guard the boat, the authorities escorted the three smuggling boats to government offices, where investigations began quickly. As far as we know, some packages of cingary papers from Brindisi were found in the boat, but most of the goods were dumped into the sea by smugglers during the pursuit of “Masi” and they would have all disappeared. The “body of the crime” as if “Masi” was a little late in stopping the boat. The boatmen and the boat are Italian, and as we said above, they came from Brindisi.
This is stated in the main article of the newspaper “ORA” about the capture of three Italians from Brindisi who had come near the Cold Water in Vlora, to sell the smuggled goods they had in their boat.
Rumors in Tirana about the event in Vlora
The event that took place on the coast of Vlora with three Italian cigarette smugglers from the city of Brindisi, seems to have had a great echo in the Albanian capital, Tirana. According to the newspaper “ORA”, the day after that event, various words were circulating in the capital, regarding the amount of cigarettes and other smuggled goods that had been seized from the Italians. This is clearly seen, because at the end of that main article, the rumors circulating in Tirana about that event are also given. Regarding this, among other things, it says:
“The news has been spread in the capital that the boat had brought silk items together with cingare letters and that these were all thrown into the sea. Only about 700 boxes of Albanian cingars were found in the boat, which it is not known where they were taken from and where they were destined for ”.
This closes the article in question regarding the seizure of a boat with smuggled cigarettes on the coast of Vlora, leaving open the rumors circulating about that event. But what was the amount of smuggled cigarettes that were caught in that boat and were there really any other goods there? This was never learned as the then Ministry of Interior did not issue any press release regarding the event. At least in the newspapers of that time there is no such thing. But one thing is clear: the Albanian government and King Zog were committed to fighting by all means the means available to smuggling from the sea and land. This is best seen in the newspaper articles of the time.
How 3 Greek cigarette smugglers were caught in Vervan, Konispol
Smuggling of cigarettes and other goods attempting to enter Albania illegally in the early 1930s was not limited to the sea. That illegal trade also took place from the land border with Greece and Yugoslavia and vice versa. But both on the coast and on the land border, the Albanian government was engaged with all its forces and means to prevent smuggling. This is best seen in the articles published in the press of that time, which echoed the war waged by the Albanian state against smuggling, especially cigarettes.
This is what the article in the newspaper “ORA” of August 31, 1930, entitled: “Three Greek smugglers were caught in Vervan, Konispol”. where under the heading “A quantity of Kart Cigare has been seized”, it is written, among other things: “On the night of the 11th of this month near the village of Vervan in the N / Prefecture of Konispol ‘, three armed Greek smugglers were captured by the Military Post-Border Command. In short, the capture of these three miscreants has happened again: Adil Osmani, a resident of Vervan, a collaborator of the smugglers, matures with the Post-Commander and tells him that there are people in his house who came from Greece to get that hence smuggled goods. Giving her a reward, she begs him to let her go free. The Post-Commander replies that he would fulfill his wish, but on the other hand, driven by a clear conscience and rightly appreciating the sacred duty entrusted to him by the state, he takes the necessary measures. He takes the patrol and goes out to guard where they were going, and after it had been quite a night, the three smugglers were seen to have taken care of the road. The patrol was summoned according to its rule to stay, but they did the opposite, hastening the chaps more to escape the danger which was rushing them. The patrol then rushed to the top to frighten them, while the stubborn cooks this time turned and fired their guns where while the stubborn cooks this time turn and shoot at the soldiers. After a critical effort, they surrendered and took with them a rifle and a revolver. They found 62 smuggled smuggled cigarette butts in Greece. The Konispol army, commanded by N / Lieutenant Tahir Hoxha, with the care it shows in carrying out its heavy duty, makes us happy and makes us believe that the Albanian soldier calls the task a duty ”.
Panariti. (pseudonym of the correspondent of the newspaper “ORA”)