Belgium's most wanted detained in Tirana

The Albanian authorities have arrested one of the gangsters featuring on Belgium's most wanted list.  Safet Rustemi, who was sentenced to 9 years in jail for people-trafficking and drugs offences, was removed by the Belgian authorities in 2017.

Safet Rustemi's presence on the federal police most wanted list and the fact that he had earlier been removed caused consternation in some Belgian quarters.  Following his expulsion he was convicted a second time by a Belgian court this time in absentia.  He got an extra 13 years.

Safet Rustemi was removed in June 2017 because he was staying in the country illegally.  Police chief Martin Van Steenbrugge: "Rustemi is one of the most important criminals on the loose.  He is still active as a criminal.  Police invested heavily in investigating his crimes.  The 22 year sentence must be served."

The immigration department stresses that it never received any request to hold the gangster in Belgium.

Rustemi's been arrested in Tirana on the basis of his Belgians convictions.  The authorities are now expected to examine how he can serve his sentence.