On Sunday, the Albanian police, in collaboration with the Italian branch of Interpol, found around €3.5 million hidden in two Toyota Yaris vehicles, belonging to an Albanian transport company, on the Ancona–Bari ferry. The two vehicles were coming from Belgium, with a transit in Italy. The Albanian police operation was launched following the notification from the Interpol branch in Rome.
So far, the police has arrested two people: the truck driver and the owner of the transport company. In his statement to the police the owner stated that he was not aware of the amount of money and the request for the transport of the two vehicles came from a Kosovar businessman.
The police operation followed the accusations of opposition leader Lulzim Basha, who alleged from the Parliament floor that the head of the Socialist parliamentary group Taulant Balla, had connections to a €1.5 million shipment that would come from Germany inside a Toyota Yaris vehicle. Basha stated:
Go ahead and laugh! The person laughing over there was in Germany three days ago. They have intercepted your Toyota Yaris filled with €1.5 million worth of drug money; keep laughing! He used to go to Germany and tell them that we have no problems, no drugs, corruption is being fought.
Following Basha’s allegations, after the conclusion of the parliamentary session, Balla told journalists:
In the last 20 days, the following Albanian MPs have been to Germany: Mimi Kodheli of the Socialist Party, and Sali Berisha and Lulzim Basha from the Democratic Party. Now, if Sali had drugs in the Toyota, and Lulzim saw him, that is an internal PD issue. The fact that Basha has huge problems, that come also as a result of Babale, that is his own issue, but let us remember that what you are saying is a criminal offense. Having seen with your own eyes an MP with a Toyota and $1.5 million worth of drugs…