Concessions, PPP-s, the tools that the government calls a solution to the problems of existing issues, where business invests and take in exchange citizens’taxes, are a clear corruption scheme that does not begin and end only with accusations made by political parties.
But is a corruption scheme revealed by investigating the documents case by case. “Follow the money”, and in this case follow the document of the companies that receive concessions, to understand what happened, how they relate to each other, who they are, who are the beneficiaries of the money and the companies involved, the schemes they use, from which you easily understand that everything is part of a clientele of politics and corruption, that if investigated by justice overthrows ministers, even the prime minister.
CNA.al has conducted a full investigation into the concession of incinerators, where on the way we also found partnerships with politicians, characters who today run the media, hidden in Bulgaria, the Netherlands and elsewhere. The problem of urban waste in Albania is a very delicate issue, and a problem that really needed a solution, because for many, many years the garbage was thrown and burned in pits, fields, rivers, etc., polluting the environment.
Their processing companies have taken people’s lives, and the government, perhaps finding a delicate moment in this matter, since it had become a major issue, found a quick “solution”, the concession. With the style of unsolicited offer, and the justification that everything would be solved as problematic, the government hastened to give a concession first to the urban waste area Elbasan, and then continued with Fier and Tirana.
The first is over, the other two are being paid millions of euros without being built. Elbasan, which is called a success story, is a 22 million euro concession paid by Albanian taxes, on a concession contract under a governmental decision and a contract in December 2014.
But how was this born? Who are the charges? Why is suspected for corruption, and is it a success story or a failure? It all started with founding a company, Albtek Energy, founded on July 10, and registered with the National Business Center on July 14, 2014.
This happened after the Renaissance (Socialist Party) came to power, where the only shareholder is Stela Gugalla, a character unknown until now in the field of business and commercial activities. At least according to the NBC, it turns out that the lady in question, had only three companies, all after 2014.
One is what we mentioned above. Then comes another one, that relates again to the scheme of incinerators, which includes its cohabitant and a financial consulting company, which continues to be active. In July 2014, the company was founded, and then a few months later, it received a concession contract for the urban waste processing plant at the Fushë Mbret substation in Elbasan.
This is according to the NRC extract, which shows quite clearly this data. Then, there are some changes to the facility, according to official data published by the lady, who has also made some corrections to her acts.
But what happened?
Stela Gugalla, then 36 years old, had no other business and no major assets declared, to get a 22 million euro concession. How is possible that she came out of nowhere, and gets millions of euros? Who was hiding behind her? A big corruption scheme, where Stela is the facade of the connections of her cohabitant Mirel Mërtiri, with an italian and citizen Klodian Zoto, but also politicians who have changed during course.
Someone falls, and someone else gets up. Zoto has registered his company in the same offices in Elbasan, and then signed two concession contracts with the government for Fier, 28 million euros, and Tirana 128 million euros, which in this scheme includes the italian, Stela Gugalla, Mirel Mërtiri, but also clearly former Minister of Environment Lefter Koka, and Tirana Mayor Erion Veliaj.
How does Elbasan start, what happens, and how was provided the money?
On December 16, 2014, the Evaluation Commission at the Ministry of Environment declared the winner Albtek Energy company, and on the 17th, a day later, the government issued a decision by the Council of Ministers to sing a contract with the company.
So, as soon as it was announced by the commission, the decision was published the next day. The winner was announced on the 16th, and the next day have been done other procedures, with no time left for complaint. So, for such a legal procedure, is needed a certain deadline for appeal, and then a deadline for reviewing the complaint.
Meanwhile, the draft after the announcement of the winner by the Evaluation Commission is submitted for opinion to other institutions, i.e other ministries that are involved in this issue. After, is expected the answer and the comments or disputes that may have the institutions.
A complete drafting of the contract is needed from the legal departments, i.e from the institution that in this case is the Ministry of Environment, and then the negotiations between the parties, the signing of the contract, and finally its approval at the government meeting. This is the legal procedure.
None of the above has happened. But on December 16, 2014, the Evaluation Commission declared the winner Albtek Energy, and then the next day, after going through all these steps, the government declared the winner Stela Gugalla’s company, which would earn 22 million euros from the construction concession of the urban waste incinerator in Elbasan.
According to the data, then start the procedures for the lady to withdraw the money, and start the construction of the incinerator, because in fact she has no money. There is no financial opportunity to build an incinerator.
But what do we discover?
Six months later, according to the Register of Insurances, Mrs.Stela Gugalla, registers a contract with the collateral, which is said to have been signed with the Italian citizen on June 18, 2015, and it is said that on December 16, 2014 with the number 148009, dated 18.06.2015, with the object supply of the thermal processing plant of urban waste processing, and with power of electricity processing in Elbasan, according to the invoices that will be attached to this contract.
This is the agreement that Stela Gugallja has signed with an Italian citizen to buy, i.e to assemble in Elbasan the incinerator for incineration of urban waste. It all came after this company, Albtek Energy, demanded money from a second-tier bank, having no money to make the investment. Sot a company starting from zero, won a concession government contract for 22 million euros, and in financial impossibility goes to lend money to a bank.
There he gets the loan, which will help him make the investment afterwards. An investment, that will actually be paid for by Albanian taxes. According to the invoices and statements that has the company, if you look at 2014, the company turns out to have no money. It is only the declaration of capital.
Other money for this company, comes through an insurance agreement, where the borrower is Stela Gugalla and the company Albtek Energy, which in the second tier bank has put as a guarantee the contract with the Albanian government, the capital quotas of Albtek Energy shpk and the contract of signed with the italian company for the purchase of the incinerator.
So, a company that has no money, receives a 22 million euro concession from the government, signs a contract with an Italian firm, goes to a bank and secures this contract together with the government’s concession contract, to start an investment.
What is clear, is that within a year, a company born out of nowhere, will start concluding contracts and placing insurance burdens, worth tens of millions of euros. As the incinerator alone, its construction and handover of keys to Elbasan cost at least about 15 million euros.
Further, in the investigation of CNA.al, came some other details. A year later in 2016, another company was registered. On May 3 of this year, according to the date of registration in NRC,
was founded the company Energy Recuperator, which has the establishment and registration in Albania on April 19, and the registration at the NRC on May 3. This company, comes as a branch of 7 companies of foreign, with legal representatives two Italian citizens. This company, secured later the contract for the incinerator of Fier, Klodian Zoto.
Meanwhile, a few days later, almost at the same time ER One Albania was founded, so Energy Recuperator has a “daughter”, here enters the partnership Stela Gugalla of the incinerator of Elbasan, and the administration is taken by her cohabitant.
In the first company, shareholders are Ernesto and Mario Granelli, two italians who are the legal representatives of this company, who founded together with Stela Gugalla, the company ER One Albania, where the starter, i.e the company that has legal representatives two Italians has 60% of the shares and Stela Gugalla has 40%.
Here appointed administrator is Mirel Mërtiri. Differently known as Klodian Mërtiri, a very complex character, who has also been accused of his strong political connections, and with a famous penal dossier in the prosecution, and with a changed identity.
So, from the zero company which is owned by Stela Gugalla, the company called Albtek Energy, almost two years after the establishment of the first, we have two other companies, which come immediately after the first company received the concession from the government.
Through the concession contract, he signed another contract for the incinerator, and he did both with a security agreement in a bank, having as a guarantee for the financing and investment part, being sure that large sums of money would be poured in her favor, due to the fact that she had already signed a document, and seven months after signing the contract, would begin the delivery of money by the Albanian government.
These are all documents, including the historical extract, the 2015 cash statement, which shows that the company has no money, the agreement with a second-tier bank, the register of insurance equations, as you can see in the picture, and the two extracts from the National Business Center in conjunction with the other two companies.
So there are 22 million euros from Albanian taxes for a concession of incinerators, taken from a firm which is born from nothing, and then flourished an Italian company, a branch of a foreign company, which creates an Albanian company which includes the shareholder, which has won the concession of the incinerator of Elbasan.
To build, he starts to take the money from the Albanian taxes. He takes out loans and invest. But, we can emphasize that there was no competition. There was simply and only an invention with the PPP style. The signatory of this contract is the then Minister of Environment, Lefter Koka, who seems to have committed a series of procedural violations, but the Prime Minister of the country, who announced the decision of the Council of Ministers, the day after the signing of the contract, is not left out.
But also the Evaluation Commission, apparently could not and did not have the eyes to see who is the company of Stela Gugalla, Albtek Energy, which at the time of the supposed competition or unsolicited bid, had only five months to be established, there was no other activity, there was no guarantee that he could invest, but everything was played between papers, between procedural violations, and between lies and filling files with documents, to justify a concession, corrupt contract, which was paid by the taxes of Albanians.
It is sum of 22 million euros, that will be paid from Albanian taxes, although Elbasan is seen as a success story. Everyone is already trying to justify this concession, with the fact that everything was resolved in Elbasan. The waste field disappeared. There have been planted trees. There is no waste, no garbage. And that is the justification. Yes, it’s true.
Many things may have changed in Elbasan. But there are some details. First, the quality and standard of the incinerator, but citizens probably say that “for us it doesn’t matter. It’s enough that we don’t see garbage and smoke burning, but that field there it has turned into a park”.
This is also true, but that place turned into a park and that large iron object, was paid for with Albanian money. It has been paid with Albanian taxes, with an endless legal procedure and violation, which raises strong allegations of corruption. But besides its quality, the standard
have quite a few question marks.
So, the money of the Albanians has been taken to build that concession, which can be called successful, but which has a history of corruptions affairs.
First, there should be an open international competition.
Second, companies in the race can offer hundreds of more efficient financial and environmental solutions.
Third, there could be a price cut in the race.
Fourth, the procedure had to be regular and legal.
None of this happened, without speaking further about the deeds and misfortunes of the file. In an honest process, a company with a shareholder who has no money couldn’t win. A company who submits some papers, fills in some files, and the next day of the conclusion of the contract, the government announces the decision of the Council of Ministers, who say that the contract was concluded and the incinerator project would move forward.
Such a move, can only be made by major political forces. Corruption and nothing else. And all legal violations, have not been investigated, and have not been opened full penal files. Although it is hoped and claimed that the new justice will put points on ‘I’. And in the case of Elbasan, the Evaluation Commission, the ministers and even the prime minister risk a lot, because they have violated a series of procedures.
In that file, there are invalid documents, i.e lies to justify the contract. Without going further into the payments, and the damage caused that in case it would be done with an open competition, the damage would be calculated in several million euros. But this is only the first case, that of Elbasan, with 22 million euros.
We will bring further details about the affair of the incinerator of Fier, which whets the appetite and brought it up the cost of project to 28 million euros. After that on the landfill and incinerator of Tirana, which goes to the Netherlands. But we still can’t avoid Klodi and the companies around Mirel Mërtiri, Klodian Zoto and several companies that have offices in the same place, but are a chain of shpk, or foreign financial investment institutions, foreign companies, which the shareholders that play and hide shareholders, until the last step, which is the attempt to eradicate the names of the company and the real holders or owners of the Tirana incinerator, which has been attempted to disappear through a chain some institutions and laws of the Dutch state.
But these will be the subject of further investigations. Today we are publishing the second file, after the one published yesterday, and tomorrow we will bring more complete, with documents, the investigation file that we have done for the incinerator of Fier. So far, there is no investigation by prosecution.
No institution has responded. SPAK has not reacted. But this will belong to the other published materials and occult connections of some institutions with the Klodi’s of incinerators, some media owners but also the structures of the new justice in Albania./ CNA.al
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