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News 29 Oct 14

Albania Charges Ex-MP With Concealing Wealth

The High Inspectorate of Declaration and Audit of Assets and Conflict of Interests, HIDAA, has charged a former Socialist Party MP, Andis Harasani, with failing to disclose his assets.

Besar Likmeta
BIRN
Tirana
Andis Harsani | Photo by : Wikimedia

According to a statement on Wednesday, the HIDAA has filed charges with the prosecutor’s office against 16 officials, including former Socialist MP Harasani, under article 257/a of the criminal code.

If found guilty, the ex-MP faces a sentence ranging from a fine up to three years of imprisonment.

Twice elected to parliament in 2005 and 2009, from September 2002 to July 2005 Harasani chaired the electricity utility, KESH, Albania’s biggest public company, with half-a-billion euro in sales.

An investigation in 2013 by BIRN found that the former MP had failed to disclose an offshore entity as required by law.

According to documents that BIRN uncovered in a trove of data leaked to the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, ICIJ, in November 2007, Harasani registered a company in the Virgin Islands, White Ebony Holdings Ltd, in which he is listed as director and shareholder.

The database entry identifies Singapore, another tax haven, as the country where the company was first registered, and mentions as its business address an apartment building in Franzstrasse, Bonn. Harasani’s sister is a journalist with Radio Deutsche Welle in Bonn, and resides at the Franzstrasse address.

Investigations by the ICIJ with its partners in the international media have exposed the identities of thousands of wealthy company holders across the world.

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