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Politike

Almost a surprise blow to corrupt officials, the US brings OPTAD specialists and Croatian prosecutors who arrested Sanader to assist SPAK, a "big fish" is expected to be arrested

Almost a surprise blow to corrupt officials, the US brings OPTAD specialists and

The fight against corruption at high levels in Albania is expected to move to another stage. The visit of the American Secretary of State, Antony Blinken to Tirana, his open support for the Special Prosecutor's Office (SPAK) to end impunity, the important agreement signed two days ago between the director of the National Crime Agency of Britain Madhe, Graeme Biggar and the head of SPAK, Altin Dumani for the fight against money laundering, the arrival of Croatian and American special prosecutors give signals that a big blow is expected to happen in the coming days. In Albania, the Croatian scenario is expected to happen, where a few years ago, thanks to the determination of USKOK, which is the counterpart of SPAK in Croatia, former Prime Minister Ivo Sanader was arrested. The investigation against the former prime minister started from the continuous proactive information in the media. Journalists reported that Sanader wore very expensive watches, one of which was worth over 100,000 Euros. The investigation started after the first indications and it was very difficult to gather evidence. The investigation was carried out by a team, which consisted of 7 Prosecutors and who worked 16 hours a day, including Saturdays and Sundays. Important facts were obtained, leading to the conclusion that the former prime minister was involved in criminal corrupt activities. Various witnesses have been contacted where they have given very important facts especially for the beginning of the process. He was arrested in Austria on December 10, 2010 and sentenced to 8 years in prison. But a case similar to Sanader is expected to happen in Albania as well. Senior representatives of the Office for the Fight against Corruption and Organized Crime of Croatia (USKOK) and representatives of OPDAT in Albania and Croatia held a meeting yesterday with the head of SPAK, Altin Dumani and other prosecutors at the premises of the Special Prosecutor's Office. According to the announcement distributed to the media by SPAK, the meeting was aimed at cooperation and exchange of experiences in the fight against corruption and organized crime. The main focus was on handling money laundering cases and analyzed the Memorandum of Understanding between SPAK and USKOK signed on November 27, 2020. Finally, the Albanian and Croatian counterparts shared their knowledge on the legislative reforms undertaken by Croatia within the framework of the process of admission to the European Union. This means that a surprise blow to corrupt officials in Albania is expected, given that the US has brought OPTAD specialists and the Croatian prosecutors who arrested Sanader to assist SPAK.

Here is the full SPAK announcement:

meeting

Near the premises of the Special Prosecutor's Office, on February 21-22, 2024, a visit was held with the High Representative of the Office for the Fight against Corruption and Organized Crime of the Republic of Croatia (USKOK), with representatives from the Department of Justice of the States of United States of America (OPDAT) in Albania and Croatia, with the Head of the Special Prosecution, Mr. Altin Dumani and Prosecutors of this Prosecution. The purpose of this visit was to strengthen the cooperation between the two countries in the fight against Corruption and Organized Crime. The importance of this visit was in the discussions about strengthening cooperation and facilitating the exchange of best experiences, successes and challenges faced by both institutions in efforts to fight corruption and international organized crime.

Money laundering and corruption

The main focus was also the exchange of information, especially in dealing with money laundering cases in Croatia, especially real estate transactions, involving shell companies and funds coming from or passing through Albania, as well as discussions related to current issues for which SPAK and USKOK will cooperate in the future. In this meeting, the Memorandum of Understanding between SPAK-USKOK, signed on November 27, 2020, was analyzed, where it was mainly discussed about the establishment of certain contact points and processes for its implementation. The meeting focused on increasing cross-border cooperation in the fight against corruption and organized crime, which aimed to identify action steps for stronger bilateral cooperation, drawing knowledge from shared experiences. Also, representatives of the Office for the Fight against Corruption and Organized Crime of the Republic of Croatia (USKOK), shared their knowledge on the main policy initiatives and legislative reforms undertaken as part of the process of Croatia's accession to the European Union.

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