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Abuses in the tender, VOA's analysis: The case against the former managers of the Municipality of Bulqiza goes to trial
Written by SOT.COM.AL 16 Shtator 2023
In Albania, the Special Prosecutor's Office against Organized Crime and Corruption announced today that it has closed its investigations and has sent 8 former leaders and former officials of the Municipality of Bulqiza to trial for the abuses of a 2021 tender developed by this municipality.
They were arrested in March of this year together with the managers and administrators of three private companies, Rasim Daci, owner of "England shpk", Aqif Konesha of "OE 2AF Albania shpk", and Kastriot Ibrahimaj, administrator of the company "BE-IS ltd". In addition to them, the supervisor and the technical manager of the works were also arrested.
The former socialist mayor Lefter Alla, elected in June 2019, his deputy Enkeleda Lleshi and 6 other former officials, former members of the Procurement Unit and the Bid Evaluation Commission, are accused of "Violation of equality in tenders" and "Misuse of duty" in relation to the procedures followed for the tender announced for the renovation of the water supply and sewerage network in the area known as the "Old Quarter" of the city of Bulqiza, with a value of about 3 million dollars. While the managers of the private companies and the other two technical persons are accused of "falsification of documents". For Dacin, the charge of "Active corruption of the person exercising public functions" is also heavy.
The winners of the competition were declared the companies "England shpk" and "BE-IS shpk", while the investigations showed that they served simply as a facade, since the works were actually carried out by Konesha's company, which, as noted apparently, the Special Prosecutor's Office "results in the close connection of the Mayor of Bulqiza"
According to the investigations, "this procurement procedure was initiated and developed in violation of the Law on Public Procurement and by-laws, as the former leaders and former officials of the Municipality have taken active illegal actions, which consist in the establishment of a special mechanism, for the predetermination of the winners".
Also, from the investigation "it was proven that monetary payments were made by the entity announced as the winner in this procurement procedure in favor of Erion Isaku, who was a member of the Public Procurement Commission in this procedure".
The Special Prosecutor's Office declares that "even during the implementation phase of the contract, legal violations were identified, as it is proven beyond reasonable doubt, based on the evidence, that Lefter Alla and Enkeleda Lleshi did not act, regarding the works that were done de facto by Aqif Konesha's company, which does not fulfill the conditions and criteria for carrying out these works, have violated the legitimate interests of the citizens, since the entity which has de facto carried out the works does not have the necessary licenses to carry out specific works for the water supply, which is a object of vital importance for citizens, so the lack of professional licenses does not guarantee the highest health standard of citizens".
The managers of the private companies involved, as well as the supervisor and the technical manager of the works, it turns out according to the investigations, that "they compiled forged documents, reflecting the false fact that the works were carried out by the winning company. Likewise, the acts documenting the performance of the works/supervision of the works were compiled at different times from the date that is actually reflected in the implementation documents", explains the announcement of the Special Prosecutor's Office.