17.07.2021 – 09:15
Former Deputy Minister of Defense, Petro Koçi, who enters Parliament in September as a member of the Socialist Party, stated yesterday that the hands of crime are extended to public finances in Fier and that protagonists of drug trafficking and violence win public tenders.
Although he does not mention names, he calls for the intervention of law enforcement agencies so that the city is not subject to the world of organized crime. “The effects of SPAK and Justice Reform are yielding results. The world of crime and the corrupt have begun to fear the law. We welcome these effects in Fier as well, where the hands of crime are extended on public finances. Protagonists of drug trafficking and violence have already legalized business entities that win public tenders. They do this either through direct links with the head of an institution, or by threatening certain officials who execute procurements, as well as by eliminating competitors in the tendering process, threatening the owners of business entities. Empowered especially by laundering dirty money in the construction industry, they continue to appropriate colossal profits from our taxes. “Law enforcement bodies should not allow our city to be subjected to the world of organized crime”, writes Koçi in a status on “Facebook”. Koçi was also invited to the studio of “News24”, in the section “Opinion”, where he said that this is a phenomenon that occurs in many cities, while he did not give concrete names. Among other things, Koçi underlined, according to him, some mechanisms on how these traffickers manage to benefit from public tenders.
What concern do you have? Do you have concrete names for Fier?
It is not up to me to deal with names, but with the phenomenon. We are at the level of the political institution and not of the prosecution and law enforcement bodies. In the context of an optimistic situation, of the action of justice on corruption, the SP also plays the same role that it has played. That role where he promoted and drafted the Justice Reform. This was not done without pressure from the US and the EU. Of course in line with the Prime Minister against corruption and taking into account the local level, as I am the chairman of the SP in Fier. As for the phenomena that SPAK is hitting, they happen there as well.
What is going on there?
In my judgment I intended to make public how this world of crime works and abuses. They used to be part of the DP election commissions, they were violent. Over time, they have created legal business structures, some of which have laundered money. It is a nearly 30-year-old money laundering phenomenon.
How does this industry work?
In every city he finds occasions when palaces have been built by some strongmen. Fier has criminal protagonists, so we must join this optimist to fight crime.
What tenders are abused in Fier?
They enter into all sorts of tenders. They have become legal entities. Kudo futen. The mechanism is this: either they have a direct connection to an official who administers public finances, or they threaten the officials, or the members of the commissions that make tenders, ordinary people. They are ordinary people who are probably threatened. And third, threatening rivals, competitors of the same business nature. I think this is like a mechanism. It is not that they dominate everything, but they also capture public funds. Although the law has been strengthened, there are maneuvers that even this law does not provide. There are subjects that are indirect to them and it is difficult to interpret. My call is for this crime-fighting technology to be strengthened.
You say justice is working. Have you helped justice to go to Fier?
SPAK operates independently of political parties. The parties have a duty that through representation in the Parliament, they call for justice to act, for the bodies to act. When their member is caught in the course of justice or when things are recorded, administrative and political measures should be taken. Political parties are not prosecutors. The mechanism of parties is the connection with the citizens. Every opinion the party transmits is not a party-state. It conveys the concern of the public, of a community, of a certain category to the state representation, in order to increase the energy of examining the case and to take concrete measures. We are talking about a phenomenon.
Do you have information or findings?
This is my judgment that comes from realistic perception and ascertainment.
Have you filed a report with SPAK?
We want to increase the courage of officials for them to denounce. To raise public optimism to say that SPAK is acting. This is giving effect. The third is to shrink the actions of the underworld. They are stopped by the rule of law and by the opinion or resistance of the citizens.
Are you afraid of the statement you made?
Nothing has ever happened to me. Excluding the years ’96 – ’97, when there were serious developments, I denounced other concrete cases, where a judge compensated an employee of “Albpetrol” with 500 million ALL. But 500 million is too much for such a company.
You have called on SPAK, is this your way of curbing this scheme?
This financial, economic and financial capacity, where pieces of public finances are cut, turns into political power. So we must not allow the underworld to influence politics. As happened in the last elections in Fier, where PD and LSI almost overturned the list with the introduction of the underworld.
How did you get rid of these lists?
We had no businessman on the list. There were no protagonists to ask for votes. These phenomena have not happened before. I judge that in this view the SP list had advantages for this view. There are people on the list who benefit from public funds. They have private entities and enter into these, there are some of them who have benefited. They are not just traffic representatives. I made reports once. If something is needed, I take it to the judiciary. I talked about phenomena. We welcome it, they know when to act. The SPAK net is not predefined when discarded. Many cases have come out by chance, others have been eavesdropped on and other things have come out. They have done the homework. The SPAK cannot act as a political body. They will catch what they get. Small or large. While the DP has a chairman like Lulzim Basha, who has been accused of Rruga e Kombit, the murders of ‘January 21’, he should not speak at all. Today we have a new situation of justice action. Justice is working with all parties. There are mayors from both the DP and the other side. Let’s hope so. It is an activity that is monitored by internationals. Almost every day you have something from the embassies for developments in justice.
Will we have news from Fier?
I do not know. I do not work at SPAK. What I said is concrete.