Former Minister Lefter Koka is arrested for violations and bribery of hundreds of thousands of euros

Former Minister Lefter Koka is arrested for violations and bribery of hundreds of thousands of euros
Lefter Koka in office when he was Minister of Environment
 Former Minister of Environment, Lefter Koka, was arrested today by the Special Prosecution Against Corruption and Organized Crime (known as 'SPAK') for abuse of office and corruption with the procedures, contracts, and construction of the urban waste incinerator in Elbasan.

SPAK announced that, after the criminal reports from Democratic Party (DP) and Socialist Movement for Integration (SMI) a year ago, it started investigations on the procedure for the concession contract for the construction and administration of the Elbasan incinerator.
The investigation “proved that the procedures for the contract with Albtek Energy were incomplete, and that, contrary to the law on concessions, the negotiation method was followed without prior notice. "From these actions, - emphasizes SPAK - the interests of the state have been damaged and the private company has received unfair benefits".

Then, it is said in the announcement of SPAK, the Albtek Energy, and the other company Integrated Technology Services, that has performed the works for the construction of the incinerator, have issued invoices and financial operations for works that have not been really performed in the amount of 2 million 950 thousand euros and 735 thousand Euros, which are suspected to have been bribed to Minister Koka after illegal favoring with the concession and contract procedures.

The administrators of the two companies set up a fictitious payment scheme to hide the illegal origin of the money during their transfers.

Former Minister Koka, it is said in the announcement of SPAK, has requested and received from the two companies indirect monetary benefits, inventing schemes for unfinished works with some other fictitious companies, to cover his corruption.

Who is Lefter Koka?

He is one of the most known figures in the field of business and politics in the city of Durrës after a long engagement in business in 2000, the 57-year-old Koka became involved in politics, initially as a member of the Municipal Council of Durrës.

Lefter Koka entered politics years ago as mayor of Durrës under the logo of the Socialist Party, then he became an MP of the SMI when this force split from the Socialist Party. He was the minister of this party in the Rama government from 2013 to 2017.

He was later re-elected MP under the SMI logo, while in the last general elections of April 25, he won a seat in Durrës as a candidate of the Socialist Party. Shortly after the victory he abruptly resigned without any public explanation.

SPAK has issued two other arrest warrants, for Klodian Zoto and Stela Gugalla, both declared wanted, while their shares in the companies they manage have been seized.

Zoto is the owner of Integrated Technology Services, a company that turns out to own 70 percent of the shares in the Fier incinerator.

While Gugalla is learned to be the partner of Mirel Mërtiri, an entrepreneur who, according to media reports, is suspected of being behind two other incinerators in Fier and Tirana. And there have been numerous questions on these two projects.

The shares of former Minister Koka in other companies have also been placed under sequestration.

The opposition has accused former Energy Minister Damian Gjiknuri, as well as current Deputy Prime Minister Arben Ahmetaj of links to Mërtiri. At the time of the Elbasan concession, Mr. Ahmetaj was Minister of Finance.

The chairman of the Democratic Party, Lulzim Basha, stated today for the media, that time and investigations are giving the right to the opposition in its accusations for this affair, which according to him, is led by Prime Minister Edi Rama, who enabled a dozen official decisions within a day to pave the way for incinerator construction.

The Socialists have consistently denied allegations of incinerator abuse. Prime Minister Rama and his ministers defended the projects and visited frequently their construction sites, raising the impact they have had on the treatment of urban waste in Albania.

However, suspicions of procedure breaches remained open.

In addition to investigations by the SPAK, the Assembly has set up at the request of the opposition an investigative commission, which is reviewing the procedures followed by the executive bodies for the construction and administration of urban waste treatment plants in Tirana, Elbasan, and Fier, the value of which goes to over 400 million euros in total.

According to the opposition, three incinerator contracts in 2014 and 2017 were awarded to newly created operators just days and weeks before the documents were signed.

She raised suspicions that behind the violation of procedures with the drafting and signing of these three contracts, are hidden illegal benefits in significant amounts..
Former Minister Lefter Koka is arrested for violations and bribery of hundreds of thousands of euros Former Minister Lefter Koka is arrested for violations and bribery of hundreds of thousands of euros Tuesday, December 14, 2021 Rating: 5
Powered by Blogger.