The anti-Mafia investigation is only tip of the iceberg, how €1.6 billon were laundered in the Renaissance-led Tirana

The anti-Mafia investigation is only tip of the iceberg, how €1.6 billon were laundered in the Renaissance-led Tirana

12:25, 23/01/2021
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All the reports issued in the recent years by specialized international institutions have sounded the alarm that Tirana has become one of the largest global money laundering hub of organized crime, both domestic and international.

The revelation of the recent wiretaps of the Italian anti-mafia, in fact, only certified what all Albanians experience every day. A construction and concrete boom concentrated in the capital, which has no market logic, except for the massive money laundering of Albanian and foreign criminal organizations.

The latest operation and the interceptions of the Italian anti-mafia show how Calabrese mob ‘ndragheta carries out money laundering in cooperation with Albanian businessmen and with the Mayors of Tirana and senior government officials, who help with building permits after bribes up to 20% of the investment value.

This investigation and interceptions were carried out in a four-year period, since 2016, till the execution of dozens of arrests and numerous seizures carried out in recent days.

But what stands out is that exactly in this period where according to wiretaps there is talk of money laundering in the field of construction through giant towers in the center of Tirana, for building permits, bribes and connections with Tirana Mayor Erion Veliaj, according to facts and figures of institutions specialized international, in the capital has become famous, with concrete and money laundering.

We must remember as a start that there are almost 3 million square meters of construction permits for 1,028 new buildings that have been issued by the Municipality of Tirana, according to INSTAT, only in the time frame 2017-2019 which (we emphasize) coincides with the ‘ndragheta operation.

Meanwhile, according to a report of the Global Initiative against Transboundary Organized Crime, about 60 percent of construction companies that have received permits in this period of time in the capital do not justify their financial resources, while it is estimated that for 3 years about 1.6 have been cleared under construction billion Euros.

The wiretaps speak precisely of Albanian companies which have obtained three building permits for towers in the center of Tirana, but which have been offered to the Italian mafia, to launder €180 million in these projects.

It is already proved that Albania is considered one of the most problematic countries in terms of money laundering.

Let us take only the Moneyval Report for 2019, which returned Albania to the "gray list" of countries with a high level of money laundering risk. Referring to the international reports of specialized agencies that monitor money laundering, it turns out that Tirana ranks at the top of the cities where this "activity" is most exercised.

Regarding this massive money laundering in construction in the capital, the Albanian opposition and a part of the media have systematically accused Mayor Veliaj of connecting and favoring people with criminal pasts, who have become the biggest beneficiaries of building permits.

That the current municipality of Tirana has turned into a giant money laundering machine through giant towers that sprout everywhere where there is free space and even without asking about the destruction of historical and cultural heritage, this can be seen with the naked eye . Also, this concrete boom, according to all experts in the field, has neither economic logic nor legal meaning and financial source.

If in 2016, the Renaissance-led Albania set a global record for drug cultivation and trafficking, the next year (2017, when Erion Veliaj's name appeared in the latest anti-mafia wiretaps), was marked as a record year for construction permits.

Also a report published at the end of August 2020 by the Global Initiative against Transboundary Organized Crime, funded by the German GIZ project and the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, "Illegal financial flows in Albania, Kosovo and Northern Macedonia", showed a side another medal that certifies this international crime operation in Albania.

Of the 141 companies that have received construction permits for buildings higher than 6 floors in the period 2017-2019, 59% of them did not have the financial capacity to complete them!

According to their balance sheets, the companies had a minimum income and had neither assets, nor loans, nor affiliated companies, that would enable such investments.

"According to the balance sheets of these companies, their income was minimal, and they had no property or credit that could allow them to make such investments. "According to our estimates, approximately 60 percent of this value came from dirty money, about €240 million", the report says.

And the conclusion of this study-report is frightening: For 3 years, 2017-2019, about €1.6 billion have been spent on construction in the capital.

"A money laundering expert in Albania estimated that nearly €500 million were laundered through the real estate sector in 2019 in this way. Using the same calculation for 2017 and 2018, it results that €320 million and €570 million were cleared, respectively. "This brings the total estimate of money laundering in 2017-2019 to €1.6 billion", says the report.

Suffice to say that the data coming out of the latest wiretaps of the Italian anti-mafia, which show ‘ndragheta's plans to launder hundreds of millions of Euros under construction in the Albanian capital, are within the logic of a giant scheme created by the Renaissance and with a direct executor.


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Benjamin bela26/01/2021 09:21

Esht e vertere qe vegel e pushtetit esht spak ! Po e shofin te gjith se esht spaku qe nuk dha rezultat as pe nje ministe! Turp per punen dhe prefesionin e tyre ! Gjith ne burg duhet te shkoj per shperdorim detyre

Shqiptari23/01/2021 12:48

POSHTE NARKO-BANDA MAFIOZE DHE KRIMINALE "RILINDJA"!!! As mos shpresoni qe ky SPAK, qe eshte sot, te nxjerre ndonje gje!!! Ata jane kembe e koke vegla te Rames! Mos u lodhni kot ju te opozites sot! Neser kur te vini ne pushtet shkrijeni kete SPAK komplet, te mos kete asnje shqiptar, sepse jane si virusa, infektojne gjithcka dhe zevendesojini vetem me prokurore dhe hetues te huaj!! Ata te SPAK duhen shkarkuar qe te gjithe dhe duhen arrestuar per shperdorim detyre, bashkepunim ne krim, fshehje dhe mbrojtje te krimit dhe krimineleve!!! Ky SPAK qe eshte sot nuk ia vlen, ata jane pjese dhe bashkepunetore te krimineleve ne pushtet, me pushtet dhe pa pushtet!!! Ky SPAK e tregoi me vepra dhe me fakte konkrete qe eshte thjesht nje SNUK!

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