Citation(s) from the literature library

Grillot, Suzette R, Wolf-Christian Paes, Hans Risser and Shelly O Stoneman. 2004 ‘Smuggling Routes.’ A Fragile Peace: Guns and Security in Post-Conflict Macedonia; Section 5.2, pp. 38-39. Geneva: Bonn International Center for Conversion / Small Arms Survey, the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva. 1 January

Relevant contents

Smuggling Routes

According to well-placed government officials at the Ministry of the Interior, weapons that are smuggled into Macedonia largely originate in Kosovo and Albania. To bring these illegal weapons into Macedonia, smugglers take one of at least four known routes from these neighbouring states. There are three smuggling routes from Kosovo and one from Albania. From Kosovo, the trail of illicitly trafficked weapons begins in Presevo, Vitino, or Globcica, and ends in various small villages around Macedonia, including Lojane, Zlokucane, Tanusevci, Radusa, Brest, and Jazince. Nearly all of these routes go through official border checkpoints or mountainous border passes, not unlike smuggling routes in Kosovo. The origins of most of the weapons circulating in and out of Kosovo are reportedly Chinese, Bulgarian, and Yugoslavian.

Macedonian authorities do not routinely document the information on seizures of trafficked weaponry, but they believe Chinese weapons to be the most frequently seized. In contrast to the findings of the Kosovo study, this information indicates that the weapons largely been registered. The EAR is also working with the border units to enhance their operating procedures and procure additional equipment to better secure this area.

There are several methods used for smuggling weapons into and originate in Albania. In Albania, the illicitly trafficked SALW originate in a number of small villages, including but not limited to, Skenderbeg, Mt. Jablanica, or Lacavice, and are smuggled into a number of villages nearby the Macedonian city of Struga. Almost all of the weapons trafficked out of Albania are suspected of being Chinese in origin. Many of these were looted from the Albanian national military stockpiles in 1997 by Albanian citizens. These weapons were never successfully re-collected or accounted for by the government and continue to circulate within the Balkan region.

[SALW = Small arms and light weapons]

ID: Q3769

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