The government has decided to reconstruct part of Tirana’s outer ring road, from what is known as the “Pallati me Shigjeta” to the Shqiponja roundabout. The reconstruction is predicted to cost about €40 million.
On September 7, 2018, the government opened the concession procedures, splitting the project into three separate segments, and opening separate tender competitions for each.
Each competition ended up having only two bidders. The company Vëllezërit Hysa competed in all three, whereas three other companies competed alongside it in the respective competitions. Vëllezërit Hysa failed to present any offers, thus automatically granting the win to its fellow competitor.
Segment I was won by a consortium of the companies Biba X and DH Albania. The cost of the tender was €18 million. Vëllezërit Hysa failed to present a bid.
Segment II was won by Salillari shpk. The cost of the tender was €12.6 million. Vëllezërit Hysa failed to present a bid.
Segment III was won by Viktoria Invest Internacional and Viktoria Invest shpk. The cost of the tender was €9.4 million. Vëllezërit Hysa failed to present a bid.
While the winners of segment II and III are well-known construction companies, Biba X and DH Albania have scarcely been heard of before.
DH Albania is a company registered in Albania on July 18, 2018, as a branch of a foreign company, Dunwel Haberman, with legal representative 26-year old Avdjol Dobi. Its parent company, Dunwel Haberman ltd is registered in a tax haven, Delaware, USA, and seems to be another shelf corporation – a company with no activity, created with the sole purpose of being sold. According to the National Business Center (QKB), the legal representative of the parent company is Nesha Lynn Kumar, citizen of the Seychelles.
The parent company’s website was created on July 2, 2018, two weeks before the company established its Albanian branch. It contains no information regarding it board of directors or its past activity.
Thus, this company seems to be a shelf corporation, with no activity, being used as a shell corporation in order to hide its true owners.
The other part of the consortium, Biba X, was registered in Kavaja in 2002, as a construction materials company, mainly engaged in producing and selling concrete and sand. On October 15, 2018, the only partner, Barush Biba modified the company’s object, adding “road construction, civil construction, reconstruction” to it.
In reality, too, the company’s main activity has been extracting inert construction materials from the bed of Elbasan’s river Shkumbin. Since 2014, the company won 3 public contracts to construct secondary roads from the Tirana, Kavaja, and Pogradec municipalities.
From 2013 to October 2018, the company has been constantly sequestered as a result of unpaid bills of various contractors, who possessed court orders against the company until their bills were paid. Biba X was still sequestered during the time it entered the tender competition, thus competing illegally.
Still, the suspect consortium made up of a shell company owned by unknown persons and a small, inexperienced, sequestered company won a €18 million public contract the Tirana municipality will pay for with public money.
It would not be unreasonable to think that someone else is hidden behind this consortium, and they will be the real winner of this contract.