Albanian Police arrest former Minister on corruption, abuse of office charges

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Albania’s former Environment Minister, Lefter Koka was arrested on charges of corruption related to waste incinerator contracts and abuse of office by order of the Special Prosecution Office Against Corruption and Organised Crime (SPAK).

According to the SPAK, the former Minister is accused of the criminal offences of office abuse, corruption, money laundering and accepting a bribe of 3.7 million euros ($4.17 million). Koka was arrested on Tuesday.

The SPAK’s investigations are related to the concession procedures conducted by the Ministry of Environment and to a contract signed with the companies Albtek Energy and Integrated Technology Services for the construction and administration of an urban waste treatment plant in Elbasan in central Albania.

Koka, 57, was the country’s Environment Minister between 2013 and 2017 representing at the time the Socialist Movement for Integration (SMI) party, Xinhua news agency reported.

Between 2003 and 2007, he served as Mayor of the port city of Durres in western Albania, and in 2009 he was elected member of Parliament (MP).

On September 1, 2021, Koka resigned as an MP.

On Tuesday, the SPAK also ordered the arrest of two Albanian businessmen, whose companies have been sequestered.

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