Albanian folksinger Arian Begaj sentenced to five years in prison for trafficking cocaine in Athens

Arian Begaj

The Second Single-Member Court of Criminal Appeals that met on March 1 did not accept the allegations of the Albanian folksinger Arian Begaj and sentenced him to five years in prison .

He is one of the most influential Albanian singers on social media. Particularly loved in his homeland, Begaj has dedicated many of his songs to his immigrant compatriots who are in every corner of the world.

Arian Begaj

Begaj had chosen to spend most of his life in Greece where, together with his Greek co-defendant, they were involved in a drug trafficking. They were arrested by the Narcotics Prosecution team and sentenced to five years in prison.

Specifically, the operation to arrest the two cocaine and cannabis traffickers took place in the middle of last May, in two houses in the area of ​​Loutsa. In the residence of his Greek accomplice, 1015 grams of cannabis and a pistol were found, and in the house of the Albanian singer, 50 grams of cocaine.

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In his testimony, Arian Begaj claimed that he is a cocaine and cannabis user and that the 50 grams seized from his partner's house was bought 3-4 days beforehand from a Roma living in Menidi and named Niko. The amount was 2,300 euros.

"This money comes from my work. I got a large quantity because I found it at a good price. I usually buy 5-10 grams at a time. I consume less than a gram per day because of my job. I am a singer and a builder," Begaj said.

The Albanian singer claimed that he often receives a nightly wage of more than 500 euros, while at the same time he also collects 800 euros a month from his morning job as a bartender.

However, the indictment, both for him and his Greek co-accused, was heavy. And that's because the Narcotics Enforcement officers had put them under surveillance, they knew their movements and actions. That's how they managed to arrest them.

Arian Begaj

Mr. Christos Iliopoulos, the lawyer of the Greek co-accused of the Albanian singer, in a statement to Proto Thema, pointed out: "In this particular case, we had a correct prosecution proposal regarding the recognition of the defendants' drug addiction."

"My client is indeed a drug addict, which was diagnosed in the ordered psychiatric forensic examination during the main examination.

"Nevertheless, the court did not follow the prosecutor's proposal and correctly recognised the defendant's mitigating circumstance of good behaviour for a relatively long time during his detention.

"The court reduced the sentence and imposed a prison sentence of 5 years and three months with suspensive power of appeal."

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