There are two flagrant cases. Two concessions, PPP, given by the government regarding the incinerators of Elbasan and Fier. Not because the garbage and their problems in many cities should not be solved. But finding the argument an emergency situation of the Albanian state, the government “Rama” gives 50 million euros to suspicious companies, some of them without any money.
The schemes used, and the investigation show that the money is earned from the same network. So companies relate to each other, and are almost the same people who made that money. A form of application, guarantee, credit, the same addresses, the same owners, only names of similar companies, are all indications that 50 million euros have been given to government clientele.
For the incinerator of Elbasan was paid 22 million euros, which are earned by the company Albtek Energy with shareholder Stela Gugalla, cohabitant of Mirel Mërtiri. The latter is an administrator in another company, ER One Albania, where Stela Gugalllja has 40% of the shares and 60% has Ernesto Granelli, an italian citizen, who has the company Energy Recuperator, and which appears to the incinerator of Fier as a shareholder and seller of the incinerator, with the pretend that would be built by him with keys in hand.
This connection of the companies, guarantied Stela Gugalla and these people a sum 22 million euros for the incinerator of Elbasan. The scheme is very simple. First, an unsolicited offer is made, the contract signed soon in the Ministry of Environment, by the Minister Lefter Koka of SMI (Socialist Movement for Integration party), who seems to be the main responsible political man with documents in the scheme of incinerators.
We also remind here, that Lefter Koka is one of the deputies, who did not burn the mandate and who joined Prime Minister Edi Rama, when the opposition burned the mandates of the deputies in February 2019. But let’s stay focused on the incinerator.
After signing this contract, it is signed together with the contract with Ernesto Granelli, for the construction of the incinerator, which says exactly “contract with keys in hand” for the construction of the incinerator, together they are taken to a second level bank, where they sign agreement on the insurance, and receive loans for the investment, after having no money.
The same scheme was used for the incinerator of Fier, where unlike Elbasan with 22 million euros, the appetite grows, and a sum increases to 28 million euros.
Here the company is Energy Waste Treatment Fier, where 70% of the shares are owned by the company Integreted Technology Service of Klodian Zotos and 30% by the company “Construction Installation, Patos”.
But, initially here in this company, shareholder with 30% of the shares has been Ernesto Graneli, the Italian who is also with the incinerator in Elbasan.
Then he sold 30% of the shares. Even in Fier, at 28 million euros, we have the same scheme as in Elbasan. The concession agreement with the government is signed very soon, then a contract arises, which is as in the case of Elbasan 15 million euros construction incinerator with keys in hand.
In the case of Elbasan, 15 million euros was the cost of the construction of the incinerator, and 22 million euros the value of concession agreement with the government. While in the case of Fier the incinerator, the cost is 15 million euros, but the concession value is 28 million euros. Where do they differ?
The Italian citizen signed this contract through the Energy Recuperator company, which is a co-shareholder with Stela Gugalla at ER One Albania, and Klodian Zoto has the contract in his hands, as in the case of Elbasan “with keys in hand” for the construction of the Fier incinerator.
This contract, together with the concession agreement and the contract with the company, are taken back to the same second-tier bank to get credit again to build the incinerator, without introducing any investment, without doing anything, simply and only by following certain procedures of which are passed at a staggering speed, and are signed immediately for companies that are not viewed in the past, nor the technical criteria, nor the parameters of the incinerators, nor the investment standards, nor the costs.
Not to mention that there was an open international competition, where companies from all over the world could come to make this kind of investment. But in both cases, companies are looking for money in the state to build incinerators, the Ministry of Environment directed at time by Lefter Koka’s signed quickly the concession agreement, and sign parallel a contract with Italian citizen Ernesto Granelli to build the incinerators with keys in hand for only 15 million euros.
After receiving the second contract, the two together go to the bank to receive money, and to start work. This for few months, after to absorb a few million euros from Albanian taxes and the state budget, according to the concession contract.
Elbasan incinerator is built already, and is called a success story, although the value is staggering. So where the garbage is removed and some trees are planted is called success. What standard does the incinerator have, how much money could have been saved if we had an open competition, and what abuse is done by building incinerators with Albanian money and not in fact by private companies, after all the loans taken or investments, origins from the pockets of Albanians because of the concession agreement, no one is accountable.
There are 15 million euros in Elbasan and Fier. In the second case, the incinerator has not been installed yet, although the contract was signed in 2016. Meanwhile, 128 million euros were later given for the incinerator in Tirana, but this belongs to another investigation, because here comes a company in the Netherlands, which is an offshore shell, and almost impossible to extract data on who are the real shareholders.
Along the way, these companies that have benefited the incinerator of Tirana and Fier have created other partnerships, up to media owners, such as the case of Top Channel, where Vjollca Hoxha is a co-shareholder with the company Em Capital Group, where the owners of incinerators, Klodian Zoto and Mirel as shareholder in a company, have a partnership with Eva Blushi, the wife of Top Channel director Ben Blushi, and this company has bought “Valtelina Coffe”, which bears the trade name “Lori Coffe”.
So, everything begins with the government, goes to private business without money, and only with papers. The concession agreement is signed, other contracts are signed with Italian businessmen to build the incinerator. Then they are gone to loan money to the bank, the state starts paying millions of euros for these entities, and then these shareholders create new companies, where they become shareholders with their spouses of politicians and media executives, who then go and buy shares in companies that have the same shareholders as the media, as is the case with National Television, Top Channel.
This is the 50 million euro scheme, where the Albanian government is deeply immersed, and it is a clear scheme of how concessions are related to the media. The 50 million euros affair, that start with Lefter Koka, go to the concessionaires, to the Prime Minister Rama, to the shareholder of Top Channel, to Ben Blushi and to Klodian Zoto, Mirel Mërtiri and Stela Gugallja. Including 74-year-old italian Ernesto Granelli./ CNA.al
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