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'Follow the money'/ Artan Gaçi built a million euro "castle" in Leskovik after Olta Xhaçka competed in Korça

2024-04-01 17:35:00, Denoncim CNA

'Follow the money'/ Artan Gaçi built a million euro

The year 2017 changed the fate of Artan Gaçi. The husband of the deputy of the Socialist Party, left politics and wore the suit of a businessman, and history shows that he was serious. If today, Artan Gaçi is in the eye of the media cyclone, because of the strategic investment he had planned in Himare, building the hotel was not the only idea he had.

Gac did well when he left politics. But it was even better when his wife, Olta Xhaçka, was rapidly climbing the career ladder as a minister in the 'Rama 2' cabinet. At the same time when Gaçi became a businessman, in 2017, she was entrusted with the direction of the Ministry of Social Welfare and Youth, a position she held for only 5 months.

From there he moved to the Ministry of Defense and then to the Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs. The couple were in their prime. Albania went through several major events such as the 2019 earthquake or the COVID-19 pandemic, where Minister Olta Xhaçka used every moment to advertise that she knew how to lead.

While her husband, he was taking care of building several buildings worth millions of euros to guarantee the business of life for them.

CREATION of UniPharma!

A few months after the elections on October 17, 2017, he decided to enter the field of pharmaceuticals, creating "UniPharma", in collaboration with his friend, Ilir Shehu. Artan Gaçi, as a newcomer to the business world, asked for help from an experienced person, choosing Ilir Shehu, whose name is widely known in the field of pharmaceuticals, and this is not for the better. It is all related to the two other companies that Shehu has, in the field of pharmaceuticals, "MEGA STORE" and "MEDICAMENTA". The first one is completely in his name, while in the second company, 60% of the shares are owned by "Farmacia Celesia srl", which is said to be owned by the Italians Ricardo Celesia, Masimo Daverio and Lorenzo Peraldini, but in "QKR", not it turns out to be registered, so it's a ghost company whose real owners are unknown.

While in Unipharma, Shehu is an equal owner with Gaçi.

But who is Ilir Shehu?

A few years ago, Ilir Shehu's name came out as being involved in a dirty drug fraud scheme, in which a pharmacist of the "Mother Teresa" University Hospital Center was also implicated.

The scheme was revealed and it was very simple; the pharmacist Isnih Bajrami used to take the state medicines, which should be offered free of charge to the patients. He told the sick that the drugs were in short supply, but he assured them that he could find them "on the black", of course against payment. Thus, the pharmacist replaced the drugs of the state pharmacy with the expired drugs of the companies and sold them to the patients, endangering their lives in addition to deceiving them. In this fraud scheme, the patients were not spared either, who must undergo chemotherapy and were fighting death every day. Likewise, Ilir Shehu was part of the Competition Authority's list of those fined, after it was discovered that he had sold disinfectants and masks to Albanians with a value exceeding the normal price during the coronavirus period.

Frauds and price abuses did not stop the businessman, who with "MEDICAMENTA" has received about 608 public contracts, worth 910,874,907.65 ALL without VAT. Of course, many tenders that they may have received in cooperation with UniPharma, but the data are not public. In the history of the works reflected in "Open Data", the contracting institutions of the company are listed as follows: Ministry of Health; "Mother Teresa" University Hospital Center; Saranda Hospital; University Trauma Hospital; "Memorial" Fier Regional Hospital, dozens of others. Only in this case there is a problem. If "MEDICAMENTA" has made public all the contracts it has received, as in "Open Procurement", Unipharma has nothing. Only profits are reflected on their "OD" page.

The company started 2017 with a loss of 5.7 million old ALL. It has gradually increased and in 2022, there is a profit of 760 thousand euros. So from the minus, for 6 years, it has recorded staggering profits. But how?

BUSINESS the future of the former politician

And in October, 2015, Gaçi, who was already receiving satisfactory profits from the pharmaceutical company, created "AG.TÇ", which will serve for 2 investment cases of the former socialist deputy. In the field of its activity, this company envisages import-export and INVESTMENT IN HOTEL TOURISM. The latter is the key word. The same company is the one that took the land on the beach of Gjileka in Himare, turning Gaçi into a strategic investor of the country. So in 2015 the company was opened.

2 years later, on February 26, 2020, Stavri Mëhilli sold the property to Artan Gaçi's company for 120 million old lek, i.e. for 21 thousand old lek/meter. Beyond the procedure that is suspicious and is being investigated by SPAK, the important fact is that in 2022, the Government decided to give the property on the beach of Gjileka to an American company for 30 years. Meanwhile, Gaçi had paid the money, but they were not unfamiliar with this American company either. "AGTÇ Hotel Management" in the national business register was owned by Tawni Lin Grzych-Sutton, a 30-year-old citizen from Massachusetts, USA, but she also had a residence permit in Albania. The young woman from America is the girlfriend of Olta Xhaçka's brother, Gaçi's wife. So in short, family business. Even for the name of the American company, they didn't bother thinking too much, just "AG.TÇ" from Gaçi, they removed the dot from the name and "voilà"... everything is ready!

The business was going well and with the profits, as every good entrepreneur does, Artan Gaçi decided to invest again. This time, next to his wife. At the time when Olta Xhaçka competed in Korçë and Kolonje in 2021, Gaçi saw the opportunity to set up a rare, fabulous hotel in Leskovik.

"Korça, my family. Back to my roots, to the origin of my children. In Korça from today, to continue the future project with Nikon and the team of a always winning district. Privileged that these elections I will work with Erjon in the noble Cologne, where there is no time for rest, for the continuation of the good work started," wrote the socialist at the start of the campaign, during which it seems that she did more than just cry of the problems of the citizens, to whom he asked for the vote. She has had time to inspect Leskovik, the place where her husband has built a castle in the middle of nowhere.

On January 23, 2023, Artan Gaçi founded "Melesi".

'Follow the money'/ Artan Gaçi built a million euro

What resource this facility was built with is unknown to the public, at least from the information we have filtered through our online research. Melesin is not a simple hotel restaurant.

'Follow the money'/ Artan Gaçi built a million euro

Anyone who searches for it finds very little information. The only way to reserve is "booking", as this hotel is not advertised on Instagram or any other social channel.

'Follow the money'/ Artan Gaçi built a million euro

This is a bit strange for an object built with business purposes that should focus on the clientele.

'Follow the money'/ Artan Gaçi built a million euro

'Follow the money'/ Artan Gaçi built a million euro

'Follow the money'/ Artan Gaçi built a million euro

How is it possible that who knows how much money is invested to set up a business, which he hides in a closet, when in fact the opposite should happen!

These questions, still unanswered, weigh heavily on the Xhaçka-Gaçi couple, while Z?RI has sent them a request for information several times, but until the publication of this article we have not received an answer. It is strange the enrichment of the two, at a time when in both statements submitted to ILDKPKI, the couple turns out to have no significant wealth that would justify the construction of a hotel worth several million euros.

'Follow the money'/ Artan Gaçi built a million euro

But as all the attention is already on the resort that Gaçi is building in Himare, where he is so far excluded from the file that led to the arrest of Jorgo Goro, we are all surprised. How did Olta Xhaçka and Artan Gaçi get rich in these years?/VOICE

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