Albanian banks refuse to release data in incinerator corruption investigation – Release
Albanian banks have refused the request of a parliamentary committee set up to investigate three controversial incinerator PPPs.
Companies with no experience in waste incineration have been awarded three concessions to build and operate three incinerators, despite no application and no public tender. The terms of the contract mean that the state pays the company for each day they are not functional, resulting in long delays in the construction and operation of the sites.
A commission of inquiry, headed by Jorida Tabaku, was set up to investigate the deal after the new parliament was formed in September.
The commission requested data on companies controlled by Mirel Mertiri, Klodian Zoto and Stela Gugallia from at least three commercial banks. Tabaku informed the commission on Tuesday that Raiffeisen Bank, Tirana Bank and Abi Bank refused and used the same excuse, while Fi Bank and Pro Credit Bank granted the request.
Exit explains: Albania’s three waste incinerators
The other banks surveyed requested additional data on individuals and businesses.
âWe will send a request to the Bank of Albania, we will repeat the request for information for all banks that refused,â Tabaku said, adding that criminal proceedings would be filed if they did not comply. She said there was no legal basis for the denial and cited a previous case where banks made data available to a committee, despite not receiving public funds.
The banks have been criticized by other members of the opposition, including Belind Kellici, who said: âIt is intolerable that the banks do not provide data relating to a thief; they cannot dictate the work of the commission.
Fourth incinerator concession approved by the Albanian government
The deputy of the Socialist Party and vice-chairman of the committee said that the refusal of the banks was in accordance with the law.
State police also refused to provide TIMS (border crossing information) data to several government officials and concession beneficiaries, calling it a “state secret.” In addition, the companies involved did not present their financial statements to the commission.