Albanian media outlets are sharing claims from ethnic Albanian officers in the Macedonian police claiming that they are eager to move against a large drug trafficking gang operating near Skopje, but are being prevented from doing so by higher-ups in the Interior Ministry.

According to numerous media reports, the gang is operating at the ends near Skopje, in Aracinovo to the east, and in Grcec to the west.

Top level Interior Ministry officials, directors and inspectors, are constantly meeting with the drug dealers, they go to their weddings, party in clubs with them…, the Lajm newspaper reports.

The reports claim that citizens these villages are eager to the have the police raid the gang, but no help is coming.

Drugs are grown by the hectare here. You really think the police is not seeing this?, Lajm quotes a villager from Aracinovo.

The paper quotes an Albanian corruption expert Admir Cili, who claims that the DUI party, which is the main Albanian coalition partner of Zoran Zaev, is giving the necessary political coverage to the Albanian mafia groups operating in Macedonia. According to Lajm, this issue is being raised by the European Union as well, as drug gangs in the region are spreading their influence toward the police services and the judiciary.