Here is a link to the article in the N.Y. Times that has caused Edi Rama to ask again for the resignation of the Prime Minister, Sali Berisha.
Don't think Mr. Berisha will be resigning...but one thing is for sure...this has a long way to go before we get to the bottom of the story. (and in Albania, you can never be sure that you will get to the bottom of the story!)
Part of the interview is below...
A Mysterious Middleman
The international arms business operates partly in the light and partly in shadows, and is littered with short-lived shell companies, middlemen and official corruption. Governments have tried to regulate it more closely for years, with limited success.
As Mr. Diveroli began to fill the Army’s huge orders, he was entering a shadowy world, and in his brief interview he suggested that he was aware that corruption could intrude on his dealings in Albania. “What goes on in the Albanian Ministry of Defense?” he said. “Who’s clean? Who’s dirty? Don’t want to know about it.”
The way AEY’s business was structured, Mr. Diveroli, at least officially, did not deal directly with Albanian officials. Instead, a middleman company registered in Cyprus, Evdin Ltd., bought the ammunition and sold it to his company.
The local packager involved in the deal, Mr. Trebicka, said that he suspected that Evdin’s purpose was to divert money to Albanian officials.
The purchases, Mr. Trebicka said, were a flip: Albania sold ammunition to Evdin for $22 per 1,000 rounds, he said, and Evdin sold it to AEY for much more. The difference, he said he suspected, was shared with Albanian officials, including Mr. Pinari, then the head of the arms export agency, and the defense minister at the time, Fatmir Mediu.
(Mr. Mediu resigned last week after the ammunition depot explosions; Mr. Pinari was arrested.) The Albanian government has been infuriated by Mr. Trebicka’s allegations. Sali Berisha, the prime minister, Mr. Mediu and Mr. Pinari all denied involvement in kickbacks. But Mr. Trebicka said that after he raised his concerns about Evdin with the Defense Ministry, his company was forced from the repackaging contract.