Exit.al published on 21 January an article entitled: Eavesdropping of Ndrag’heta involving the Municipality of Tirana and Health Authorities.
The article as follows:
The arrest of tens of members of the Italian mafia group, Ndrangheta, emphasized their connection with officials of Tirana Municipality and Rama Government, and their involvement in corrupt tenders and construction permits. The entire money laundering scheme of the Italian Mafia in Albania is suspected to amount for Euro 250 million.
The full interception file contains more than 1000 pages and more is expected to be published in the coming days.
Exit News presents a summary of what is known so far.
Arrests. On 18 January, the Italian Anti-mafia arrested 50 members of the Italian mafia group ‘Ndrangheta’, following a multi-year operation.
Those arrested include:
Mayor of Rosarno in Calabria, Giuseppe Idà,
A member of the same commune council, Domenico Scriva,
The Calabria Entrepreneur Antonio Gallo, known as the ‘Prince’,
Former subtenant of Guardia di Finanza, Ercole D’Alesandro,
The entrepreneurs Tomaso and Saverio Brutto, who were trying to enter the Albanian market. Tomaso Brutto is also a member of the commune council of Cattanzaros, while Saverio Brutto is a member of the commune council of Simeri Crichi in the province of Katanzaro.
The operation included also the arrest of the following seven Albanian nationals, whose involvement is not yet known:
Edmond Baci, born in Albania, resident in Catanzaro;
Henrik Baci, born in Albania, resident in Albania;
Odeta Hasaj, born in Albania;
Bilar Hoxha, born in Albania, resident in Albania;
Alban Keta, born in Albania, resident in Catanzaro;
Bledar Koçi, born in Tirana, resident in Tirana;
Memlin Voci, born in Albania, resident in Catanzaro.
According to interceptions of those arrested, the arrested Italian entrepreneurs have opened their businesses in Albania, especially in construction and health. Therefore, the mafia representatives have used certain Italian politicians and mediators, who have established contacts with high-0levelpoliticians and officials in Albania.
the interceptions include conversations about meetings with officials of the Municipality of Tirana or ministers, who, in exchange for bribes, would award tenders and construction permits to the Italians.
According to OraNews, which has published some of the interception transcripts, the entrepreneurs Antonio Gallo and Antionio Speziali speak with Lawyer Claudio Larussa, a representative of the entrepreneurs Tomaso and Saverio Brutto about getting in touch with officials close to Mayor Veliaj. The intention was to get construction permits in the city centre, near the Palace of Culture, where sale prices are high. They also mention health tenders during their conversation, i.e. provision of hospital supplies.
The transcript below dates 28.10.2017.
On the top of page number 618, it says: “Gallo (Antonio) explains to Speziali, Larussa, and Brutti, how it works in Albania, how one could get tenders in the public sector, implying clearly bribes.
Gallo: He is Albanian, he is the President of this Group there, in Albania.
Speziali: You could work with hospitals, too.
Gallo: I don’t know about that, but he is the President of Sol in Albania, all hospitals, he is close to the Prime Minister, close to the Mayor of Tirana, he is an important person.
Citizens raise their voice to say “No” to the destruction of cultural heritage in Durrës
Speziali: Claudio (Larussa) went there with the Mayor of Tirana.
Gallo: Yes, he did.
Speziali: Tell me about Albania. I do have the plants ready, but I am a bit sceptical about taking them there. If we get them, and send them there, it’s OK with me, but I don’t want them to cheat me then. We need to send them hedging right person.
(They talk about a person called Nik, an Albanian citizen.)
Gallo: I spoke with this friend of mine, Nik, who told me that the person who got three licences to build in Tirana… has three licenses now, and for the 180 million he will spend, he is expected to give them 10 million.
Gallo: He told me they are looking for funders. They find an entrepreneur, who is already OK, and the bank finances him. You can make money out of this, because you can sell them for 4 or 5 million per [square] meter, half of Tirana.
Gallo: Apartments. He, this constructor, has three licenses for building skyscrapers.
Speziali: 4000 euro, no… 2700-2800 euro.
Brutto: Oh God …. In the centre of Tirana?
Gallo: Apartments in the new skyscrapers are sold for 3800-4000 Euro per square meter. And do you know what the actual construction cost is? 510 euro.
Speziali: But if you do something luxurious.
Brutto: Can we talk to this Nik?
Gallo: If you are in Rome, he will be there on November 9th. He is the President of Sol Group in Albania, of oxygen, he is connected to hospitals, to Enel, he is connected with all. He told me clearly. They want 20% for the tenders. So, they (referring to Nik) can pay for it.
Who is Nik – the contact in Albania?
According to MCN TV, ‘Nik’, who is mentioned in the interceptions of the people arrested in Italy, is Besnik Halili. He is known as a person close to mayor Veliaj, and to other Socialist ministers.
Besnik Halili is the sole owner of NCI shpk, and representative of the company GTS-Albanian Technical Gas (Gazra Teknike Shqiptare) shpk, where the sole shareholder is the Italian company Sol s.p.a., which is mentioned in these interceptions.
Besnik Halili is the husband of Luneda Sufali, former director of the Albanian Gambling Supervision Authority (AMLF) during 2013-2015, today Director of the State Social Service.
Tenders won by the company GTS-Albanian Technical Gas shpk
According to Open Data Albania, the company GTS has won 80 tenders in the health sector, amounting to a total of 7.5 million Eur, VAT excluded.
It is striking that GTS has won all the tenders, where it has applied. All the tenders are won for the same fund limit made available from the institutions.
The Open Data Albania Platform had already raised the alarm about the tenders won by GTS shpk without any competition, that is, with GTS being the only company participating in the tender.
The article above refers to open and transparent data provided by databases of the organization AIS. The editorial line, arguments, and facts in this article belong to the media and the author. You may find our database by clicking on opencorporates.al, spendingdata.al, opendata.al, openprocurement.al, and aksesdrejtesi.al