Two Russians and a Ukrainian arrested after an alleged spy raid on an Albanian arms factory | Albania
Two Russians and a Ukrainian have been arrested after an apparently failed spy raid on a military base and an arms factory in central Albania, the Albanian Defense Ministry said on Saturday.
One of the male suspects allegedly attacked guards with stun spray as he attempted to take photos of the Gramsh factory, which is used to dismantle abandoned weapons, the ministry said in a statement.
The ministry added that two of its soldiers were injured while trying to stop the raid, but the three foreign nationals were arrested.
Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama said the three individuals were “suspected of spying”.
“Three citizens with Russian and Ukrainian passports attempted to enter the factory,” the ministry said in a statement.
“The officers guarding the factory reacted immediately, but during their efforts to arrest the three foreign nationals, two of our soldiers were injured,” the statement said, adding that the soldiers’ conditions were stable.
“In an attempt to evade control, one of the Russian nationals, identified by the initials MZ, 24 [years old]used neuroparalytic spray on the two security guards,” after being tackled by the guards, the department added.
Two others, a 33-year-old Russian, identified as ST, and a 25-year-old Ukrainian, identified as FA, were also arrested in the vicinity.
During the summer holidays, Albania is visited by many Russian and Ukrainian tourists. The Gramsh military base is more than 70 km from the beaches.
During communism, the Albanian factory in Gramsh was used to produce the Russian type AK-47 rifle.
According to the ministry’s website, the factory now provides manufacturing services for the defense industry, without giving further details.
Albania has been a member of NATO since 2009.