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Hash helicopter pilot was Albanian major: reports

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Hash helicopter pilot was Albanian major: reports
Wreckage of the hashish-filled helicopter which crashed near the mountain town of Cortes de la Frontera in Malaga province. Photo: Jorge Guerrero/AFP
11:01 CET+01:00
A helicopter loaded with hashish which crashed in southern Spain on Tuesday after hitting an electricity pylon was piloted by a major with the Albanian army, according to media reports.

The helicopter which crashed near the mountain town of Cortes de la Frontera in Malaga province is thought to have been piloted by Albanian Major Sokol Feka, an instructor at Albania's Farkës air base, according to Albanian media reports.    

Those reports cited Albanian defence ministry sources. Feka had reportedly taken leave from January 12th to January 31st. He had his copilot died in the accident.  

Regional daily newspaper Malaga Hoy said earlier in the week the helicopter was carrying between 800 and 900 kilos (1,700–1,900 pounds) of hashish and was painted in black to avoid being detected at night.

Police are investigating where the hashish came from. In recent years they have broken up several rings that used helicopters to smuggle hashish from Morocco into southern Spain.

Spain's proximity to North Africa, a major source of hashish, and its close ties with its former colonies in Latin America, a key cocaine-producing region, have made it the main gateway into Europe for narcotics.

Since June 2013, Spanish authorities have seized more than 100 tonnes of hashish in various operations.

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