€3.4M Hidden in Two Toyotas – The Facts So Far

Sunday evening, in the port of Durrës, the Albanian police seized nearly €3.4 million hidden in two Toyota Yaris vehicles.

The vehicles were found within a trailer on a ferry arriving from Italy to Durrës. Alongside the two vehicles containing the money, 8 more cars were being transported inside the trailer owned by an Albanian transport company. The vehicles had followed the Belgium–Germany–Italy–Albania route.

The police immediately arrested the owner of the transport company, Edi Lika, his son Klevis Lika, and truck driver Agim Çeku.

A day after, on June 25, the police arrested Alban Mollaymeri, the businessman on whose behalf the cars were being transported from Belgium.

The police also put out arrest warrants for brothers Elvis and Alfred Vladi. They are suspected to be the people who would receive the money. Nonetheless, the police has released no detailed information regarding the actual part the Vladi brothers played in this case.

According to the police’s June 25 official announcement, the police was alerted on June 20 by local sources about the existence of a large amount of money hidden within several cars.

On June 21, local sources notified the police about a trailer carrying several Toyota vehicles, coming from Germany. Among these vehicles would be the ones carrying the money.

On June 24, at 07:30, the vehicles arrived in the Durrës port. Based on the June 20 tip, the Border Police identified and apprehended the trailer.

After a search, the police found hidden in two Toyota Yaris vehicles, €3.36 million, 80,000 francs, 7 cellphones, and a police scanner.

Lulzim Basha’s Warning

On June 21, during a parliamentary session, Democratic Party leader Lulzim Basha had already claimed that a Toyota Yaris vehicle was on its way from Germany, carrying €1.5 million. Basha accused the head of the Socialist parliamentary group Taulant Balla of having an agreement to ensure this money was passed along to one of Elbasan’s most active drug gangs.

On June 24, Taulant Balla was the only MP to react to the seizure of money, via a Facebook post. Today, in a press statement, he added:

Taulant Balla has nothing to do with these people, I can guarantee that. I am willing to be tried in the middle of the Skënderbeg Square if someone can find even the smallest connection to this.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Edi Rama and Minister of Interior Affairs Fatmir Xhafaj haven’s made any statements regarding the case.