Gone Albanian Commandos May Be Hiding in Britain
Albanian Daily News
Published November 18, 2017
Four Albanian commandos are feared to be in hiding after vanishing on a training mission in Britain. Details of last month's disappearance were kept quiet while police and the Ministry of Defense launched a hunt.
The men, identified as Reni Ajazi, Ylber Kotri, Aleksander Shkulaku and Klevis Lamkaj, are thought to be lying low in the close-knit Albanian community. They face up to five years in jail for desertion.
They were among 11 Albanians on the NATO exercise in mid-Wales whose flights and accommodation, including a final night in London, were paid for by the Ministry of Defense. A source said: "They were supposed to return to barracks and fly back the next day."
A military source in the Albanian capital Tirana said: "Top Brass are fuming. The families of the missing men have been questioned and the investigation is proceeding in Britain and Albania."
The exercise, run by the Brecon-based 160th Infantry Brigade and Headquarters Wales, saw 139 teams from around the world compete in challenges. They included a 60km march across the Black Mountains.
The missing Albanians, Afghan veterans said to be among their commandos' elite, earned a monthly salary of ALL 30.000.They disappeared one night before leaving Wells after asking a leave to visit the city of Cardiff.
Dritan Demiraj, former head of the Albanian ŹSpecial Forces, declared: "I consider their behavior unacceptable. I know they are not paid well and work in difficult circumstances but what they did was totally unjustified. They travelled to Britain to represent Albania in a military exercise and I ask them to return to their country as soon as possible."