Ndoka and Çuko, former Socialist MPs arrested in Albania

Ndoka and Çuko, former Socialist MPs arrested in Albania

 In Albania, with two separate verdicts of the Serious Crimes Court were arrested on Sunday afternoon two former MPs of the Socialist Party, Arben Çuko and Arben Ndoka. 

Çuko, the former General Director of Prisons has been detained under suspicion of corruption. He was discharged from office on September 3 this year "for intolerable mismanagement and strong suspicions of corruption" as Justice Minister Etilda Gjonaj explained, which also made the proposal for his dismissal. Mrs. Gjonaj, shortly after the arrest of Çuko, stated through a statement that shortly after the dismissal of Çuko had started an in-depth administrative investigation. "In the quality of the National Anticorruption Task Force Coordinator, I have sent all the materials ascertained by the internal audit to the prosecution as a violation committed in the General Directorate of Prisons," emphasized Ms. Gjonaj.
Arben Çuko
Arben Çuko
Former General Director of Prisons is suspected of taking bribes in exchange for permits or transfers of the convicts. Through a post on Twitter, Prime Minister Edi Rama wrote: "Regret for Çuko, but for us there are not two stances in relation to the law, there is only one. There are no two approaches to justice, there is only one. There are not two faces in relation to citizens, there is only one! We are not and will never be the same as others. We always have only one path: Justice! "

Shortly after the arrest of the former Socialist MP, it was announced that his former colleague Arben Ndoka had had the same fate. The latter was arrested along with his brother and a group of other persons, as alleged, according to the police announcement For the Criminal Offenses of Falsification of Documents, Falsification of Seals, Stamps or Forms, Abuse of Land within a criminal group, involved in alienation of the land. A few months' investigation - he explains further - has gathered evidence that this criminal group is suspected of being implicated in state-based abuses in the Lezha and Kurbin areas by falsifying documents and stamps."
In March 2018, Lezha police investigated a criminal group suspected of being linked to land abuses in the Shengjin area and detained 12 people, including Lezha Mayor, and 11 were declared wanted. In co-operation with each other they are accused of falsifying, alienating and acquiring 234,548 square meters land in the coastal area of Shëngjin, Lezha. A few weeks later, the First Instance Court of Lezha and the Shkodra Court of Appeal changed the measures for a considerable number of citizens, including the Mayor of Lezha, as well as two newly proclaimed citizens. A few days ago, Lezha Police struck another group of 11 former Mortgage Officers, whose activity allegedly relates to the alienation of land in the Lezha district.

The name of Arben Ndoka was mentioned for a long time in 2014, when he was a deputy. The Democratic Party published at that time the documents according to which, Ndoka was found to have been sentenced to Italy in the late 1990s with over 7 years of imprisonment for "exploitation of prostitution in aggravated circumstances" and that part of the sentence had been settled in Albanian prisons.
Arben Ndoka
Arben Ndoka
Ndoka, who talked about an accidental event, was released in 2005 and later is engaged in leading positions in the public administration, up to the Republican Guard or State Police, as himself claimed. While until before being included in the Socialists' lists in the 2013 elections, he was in the post of director at the National Urban Construction Inspectorate, in the Democrat-led administration.

The case of the Ndoka deputy, although not mentioned by name, was included in 2015, in the report of the US State Department on Human Trafficking. At that time, the US Embassy in Tirana, through the Ambassador Donald Lu, was directly involved in efforts to prevent the involvement of such persons, especially in the lists of candidates for local government elections, saying that he "deems as embarrassing who has an Albanian parliament member with convictions for human trafficking ".

Under a growing pressure, in September 2015, Ndoka resigned from parliament, handing over the mandate.
Ndoka and Çuko, former Socialist MPs arrested in Albania Ndoka and Çuko, former Socialist MPs arrested in Albania Sunday, October 21, 2018 Rating: 5
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