How did Lefter Koka abuse his power?

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Former minister of environment, Lefter Koka, was arrested this Tuesday and is now facing charges of:

  • Abuse of office
  • Corruption
  • Money laundering

His arrest is connected to the concession of the incinerator of Elbasan.

How did Lefter Koka abuse his power?

The former high-ranking official favored the company owned by Stela Gugallja, ‘Albtek Energy’, by granting her the concession without a fair race. When concessions are granted to a particular company, a set of preparatory steps need to be followed beforehand, something which didn’t happen in this particular case:

1-            The full technical analysis is incomplete

2-            Environmental and social impacts aren’t fully defined

3-            Economic and financial analysis is incomplete

4-            Reasoning behind deciding the concession winner is incomplete

5-            Analysis of feasibility study is incomplete

6-            Process wasn’t transparent or competitive

7-            The declaration of the contract isn’t in compliance with the law.

8-            The limit value of the concession hasn’t been appropriately calculated.

Seeing that the above-mentioned steps have been overlooked, Lefter Koka is being accused of abusing his office. Another episode that is related to these accusations is the fact that the concession was given without a preliminary ‘open call’.

Koka is responsible for the procurement of public funds and as a result, he has broken this law and abused his office.

According to SPAK, Lefter Koka has received around 3.7 million euros, as compensation for favoring two companies and directly hurting the interests of the state.

Active and passive corruption charges

The Prosecution accused Koka of receiving two payments from these two companies – one for €2.95 million euros and another for €735 thousand euros – with the purpose of favoring them in the concession race.

The former minister was able to receive this money from Albtek Energy and Integrate Technology Services, by setting up a fictive scheme that was meant to make them appear like they were subcontractors, hiring other secondary companies – owned by Koka’s family members or other acquaintances – to conduct work related to the construction of the Elbasan incinerator, which was never actually seen through to completion.

Koka is being charged with corruption, abusing his office and money laundering whereas the two administrators of the above-mentioned companies, Stela Gugalli and Klodian Zoto suffer charges of corruption of high-ranking state officials and money laundering. Several other subjects are also under investigation.

How did the former minister launder money?

The large sums of money were given to Lefter Koka by Stela Gurallja and Klodian Zoto through a legitimate transaction and were thus invoiced. Seeing that this was done through a legitimate procedure, the former minister and two administrators of the above-mentioned companies are suffering charges of money laundering as well.

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