LSI Hides Nearly $200,000 in Lobbying Expenses

An investigation by Besar Likmeta from BIRN has shown that according data provided by the US Department of Justice, the Socialist Movement for Integration (LSI), led by Ilir Meta, made payments at a total of $267,804 (~€251,000) during 2016 to US lobbying firm Global Security and Innovative Strategies (GSIS).

LSI had hired GSIS, covering among others $30,000 per month in expenses, to arrange meetings with high-level US politicians.

LSI, however, failed to report all these expenses to the Central Election Commission (KQZ), as is required by law. Over 2016, the LSI declared 11,720,552 lekë (~€86,500) in consultancy expenses, nearly three times less than the expenses incurred with GSIS.

Political parties are required to declare their annual income and expenses in order to avoid the financing of political activities with black money, which would turn political activity practically into money laundering.

Contacted by BIRN, LSI declined to comment on the discrepancy between the figures provided by the US Justice Department and the balance sheet provided by the KQZ. It is remains from which source LSI funded its US lobbying activities.