SPAK Cracks Down on Corruption in Albania

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times July 14, 2021 15:14

SPAK Cracks Down on Corruption in Albania

The Special Prosecution against Corruption and Organized Crime (SPAK) has made headway in their fight against corruption by targeting the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the mayoral offices of Lushnje and Pogradec, as well as the Bid Evaluation Committee. On Tuesday evening, the Former Albanian Vice Minister of Internal affairs Rovena Voda, along with Majlinda Hasani and Florida Beu, were placed under “house arrest”. The court announced their decision in response to investigations from SPAK, and accused the defendants of “unlawfully exercising their influence over persons performing public functions”.

The charge pertains to the three years that Ms. Voda held her position in the government, namely from the year 2017 to July of last year. SPAK has made the allegation that Ms. Voda has accepted monetary and material compensation from Ms. Hasani and Ms. Beu. In effect this would lead to the unjust employment of  Ms. Beu’s as a civil servant at the executive level.

Sources from SPAK claim that Ms. Beu has not been appointed to the aforementioned position. The other defendant, Ms. Hasani, a lawyer by profession, is suspected to have acted as an intermediary in this case due to her close relationship to the vice minister.

Over the last 7 days, SPAK’s efforts saw the arrest of 9 officials and former officials of the Ministry of Internal Affairs regarding the tender for police uniforms. In addition, SPAK has prompted the arrest of the mayor of Lushnje, Fatos Tushe, as well as 10 officials and employees of city hall. Most recently this Tuesday, the former mayor of Pogradec, Eduard Kapir, the deputy mayor, and four others were sent to be tried in court.

SPAK has raised two charges against Former Mayor Eduard Kapir. The first of these is “abuse of power” on the grounds that Mr. Kapri has made efforts to obstruct the local election process of June 30th 2019, which the opposition boycotted. The former mayor is accused of working with two employees of the Maintenance of Educational Centers in order to close down three schools and one kindergarten in areas where voting centers were to be set up. The two employees were arrested at the time, and are part of the same legal case as Mr. Kapri.

The second charge SPAK made against the former mayor is for the “intentional hindrance of a fair tendering process”, related to an operation held in October 2017 for the “Purchase of firewood”, which was funded with 9.2 million lek.

SPAK alleges that Eduard Kapir, in collaboration with members of the Bid Evaluation committee, Enkeleida Kllomollari, Nexhmi Torro and deputy mayor Avdulla Cano, have all obstructed the practice of a fair competition in the tendering process.

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times July 14, 2021 15:14