Gov’t – opposition clash over incoming illegal cash tied to money laundering in Albania

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times June 26, 2018 15:27

Gov’t – opposition clash over incoming illegal cash tied to money laundering in Albania

Story Highlights

  • Balla has categorically denied any connection with the cash coming in from Belgium, saying he is prepared to face a public trial in case the smallest proof is found against him.

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TIRANA, June 26 – Polemics persisted between the government and the opposition’s Democratic Party this week concerning the big amount of cash that was found inside two cars in the Durres port.

The head of the opposition’s DP Lulzim Basha mentioned that a Toyota type car linked to the head of the Socialist Party’s parliamentary group Taulant Balla transporting a big amount of money would soon be found, during last week’s parliament session.

Asked by journalists how he’d known about the over 4 million euros found inside the two Toyota Yaris cars, Basha preferred to keep his source hidden.

“I can tell you three things. First, the money belongs to one of the most dangerous drug trafficking bands in Albania, mainly active in the Elbasan area, but not only. Second, Taulant Balla had an agreement to guarantee the entry of the cash inside Albania without any issues. Thirdly, Albanian police was under the pressure of one of our international partners to act. It’s one of our partnering countries, which is skeptic when it comes to Albania’s integration, especially when it comes to fighting crime and corruption.”

According to Basha, the men in charge right below Prime Minister Edi Rama, such as former interior minister Saimir Tahiri, present interior minister Fatmir Xhafa, Balla and even Tirana’s mayor Erion Veliaj, are tied by their criminal activities and it is up to the judges and prosecutors to prove what he has been alleging.

Balla has categorically denied any connection with the cash coming in from Belgium, saying he is prepared to face a public trial in case the smallest proof is found against him.

“I thank the police. A law-abiding institution says there was a leak by Lulzim Basha, an irresponsible person who compromised the operation’s integrity, although thankfully nobody takes him seriously,” Balla told the media.

Balla added it is Basha who is actually tied to the criminal gang that was illegally transporting the money, but said he would give more details concerning this during next Thursday’s parliamentary session.

 

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times June 26, 2018 15:27