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Prosecutors in the Mat region have arrested six local officials, accused of using a shell company to siphon funds for public works through false documents.
|The city of Burrel | Source : Wikimedia|
Those arrested include the heads of the communes of Rukaj and Xiber in the region of Mat and the deputy director of the hospital in the city of Burrel.
An arrest warrant has been issued also for the head of the commune of Gurre, Mustafa Celami, who has not been arraigned yet.
According to the Transparency International Corruption Perception Index, Albania ranks as one of the most corrupt countries in Europe.
Prosecutors said in a statement on Monday that one the defendants had created a company named Yllka Selita in 2006 and had won tenders for public works in the region of Mat worth 53 million lek (€380,000) in the last six years.
However, the company never completed any of the contracts, and its work situations were falsified in exchange for bribes that went to the local heads of communes.
According to testimony given to prosecutors, kickbacks of ten per cent for each contract were paid to the heads of the communes of Rukaj, Xiber and Gurre and to the deputy director of the regional hospital in Burrel.
In two high-profile war crimes trials currently ongoing in Pristina, a series of witnesses have retracted previous statements alleging abuse at Kosovo Liberation Army detention centres.