31 Mar 2011

11 Arrested in Oil Smuggling Scheme in Albania

Police in Albania arrested 11 officials connected to an oil smuggling scheme last Friday, with both political parties in Albania rushing to connect the other ahead of the May 8th elections.

According to the Transparency International representative in Albania, Lufti Dervishi, this scandal is proof that governmental organizations in Albania simply do not work, as this should have been detected by fuel quality inspectors (as the scheme involved selling crude oil as high-end imported diesel between 2007 and 2009), the tax office, custorms, or the police.

While former Energy Minister Dritan Prifti hinted at the fraud last year, it has taken quite a while for the police to build a case against the suspects. Furthermore, in reaction to opposition claims (the Socialist Party) that the ruling party (the Democratic Party) was in on the scheme, the Finance Ministry that they had begun investigating the scheme as far back as 2008.

For the original version of the story, please see the SETimes articles here and here.

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