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Politike

Who is the fraudster who is extorting the businessmen? Here is what is hidden behind Rama's reaction

Who is the fraudster who is extorting the businessmen? Here is what is hidden

Today, Prime Minister Edi Rama has warned citizens that a fraudulent game with computers imitating phone numbers to send fake messages is harming Albanian citizens.

Rama made the comments through a post on social networks, where he writes that the Police have stopped and brought to justice some of these fraudsters, who have managed to take money from the injured.

Rama also appealed to citizens who receive messages in the name of public figures, to be careful and not fall prey to these criminal games.

"A scam game with computers impersonating phone numbers to send fake messages has harmed several people to date. The State Police has detained and brought to justice some of these fraudsters, who managed to take money from the injured. But while the police continue their work to identify others, I suggest to all those who receive messages in the name of public persons, to verify in advance the authenticity of the sender, to avoid the trap of this criminal game", wrote Rama on the account his on the "X" social network.

But what exactly is Prime Minister Edi Rama talking about and who is the person who "forced" him to make this reaction.

Florian Gjergji is the person wanted by the police because of successive fraud schemes, where senior officials and businessmen have fallen prey to these schemes.

In the cases identified to date, Gjergji presents himself as a senior official and asks them for money.

The fraud is done through the Telegram and Viber applications where the numbers and names of high officials are copied.

So far, some of Gjergji's associates have been arrested, while the latter is suspected to be abroad, but it has been impossible to locate him.

Earlier, Euronea Albania learned the scheme used by the group of fraudsters led by Florian Gjergji, who tried to get an amount of 35 thousand euros from a businessman in the real estate field.

"How are you, I'm the mayor of Vlora, I need 35!"- This is the message that arrived on the phone of the businessman with the initials G.Ç, in an online communication application.

The businessman in question immediately notified the Tirana Police, who organized and caught red-handed the people who showed up to receive the money.

As part of the "Replay" operation, Afrim Radici, Gezim Çelanji and Qazim Vata were arrested, while the "mastermind of the scheme" Florian Gjergji was declared wanted.

Also, Euronea Albania has provided the file of the fraud of a businessman in Elbasan, who received about 100 thousand euros by introducing himself as the Minister of the Interior, Taulant Balla.

The victim of fraud was the businessman Flamur Rushi.

The entrepreneur received a message on Viber from a number claiming to be Taulant Balla, where he urgently requested an amount of 100 thousand euros.

Rushi stated to the investigators that since he has a friendship with the Minister of the Interior, he decided to give him the requested amount.

He says that he was asked to deliver the money to a taxi near a private hospital in Tirana.

In the file provided by Euronea Albania, the businessman testifies in detail how he fell prey to fraud.

"In his declaration and report, citizen Flamur Rushi reports that: "He was presented to the police because he was going to file a report, since on 01.05.2024, in the Viber application, he was contacted by a person named *Taulant Balla, who initially sent a message and then called him 2 times via Viber, but he didn't answer because he didn't know how to use Viber. Then the contact with the name "Taulant Balla" (+355683878***) sent him a message saying "I'm at lunch", "I'm running out of an order", "I'm going to visit a friend there, I'll give you 100 thousand euros and we'll fix it". Flaumri returned the message saying "Ok", "talk to me" Contact "Taulant Balla", returned the message saying "ok, he will call you in a while". This conversation took place around 14:00 via text messages. Then Flamuri communicated by phone with a citizen who had the phone number 0683649192 and told him that he was waiting for him in Librazhd, while he replied by saying that he was late because he had work in Elbasan, where he did not communicate afterwards with this citizen after turning off the phone. Around 17:00, the same contact with the name *Taulant Balla, sent him a message again saying "connect with him", Flamuri replied by saying "yes, I'm waiting for him, I'm coming to Tirana" and meanwhile he he answered by saying "thank you, call me from Sunday, let's have some lunch", the file says.

A few days after handing over the money, the businessman realized that he had been deceived and went to the police to file a report. The police first arrested citizen Kristian Përndoj, the taxi driver who took the money, but later released him.

"I was a taxi driver, I came to Tirana from Lezha and took the bag from Flamur Rushi. I asked him first if it is illegal and he said no. When I gave him the bag, he gave me 100 euros", declared Përndoji.

It is suspected that Përndoj was used by Florian Gjergji, the person behind this fraudulent scheme.

Gjergji has used this scheme in 8 other cases using Signal and Viber applications, the names of high officials such as Edi Rama, Erion Veliaj, Ermal Dredha and Rakip Suli as well as some other ministers.

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