CCTV images from the cafe in which Albanian businessman Ardian Nikulaj lost his life
CCTV images from the cafe in which Albanian businessman Ardian Nikulaj lost his life

Interpol succeeds in extraditing alleged Portuguese hit-man from Morocco

Rúben Saraiva has been on Interpol’s ‘most wanted list’ for eight months

A manhunt underway since April last year has finally succeeded in getting alleged Portuguese “mercenary” Rúben Saraiva extradited to Albania where he faces charges of assassinating a ‘businessman with political aspirations’ in a café.

The assassination was caught on CCTV cameras, and widely publicised in both Albania and UK, from where the alleged ‘hit squad’ had apparently set out.

Police rounded up five Britons over the killing, and Saraiva was eventually detected living “hidden in Rabat”.

But even then, there were problems, writes tabloid Correio da Manhã, “because there are no extradition agreements in place between Albania and Morocco”. Saraiva “almost escaped” justice, says the paper.

Albanian online explains how the combined influence of Interpol and Albanian authorities managed to save the day.

Saraiva was officially extradited under tight security just before New Year, and brought before an Albanian court yesterday, where he denied having any part in the murder, claiming he had simply been a tourist in Albania at the time.

But the court ruled that it had sufficient evidence to keep the Portuguese behind bars until a trial date.

Saraiva is charged with “murder in a blood feud” and the illegal possession and production of weapons, writes Pamfleti.

Albanian authorities are still in the process of extraditing the other British nationals believed to have been involved in what appears to be a complicated case of vendetta going back decades. ND

Sources: Correio da Manhã/