Turkish prosecutors have demanded 3 to 10 years in prison for Sinan Idrizi, the administrator of a major Air Albania shareholder, on suspicions of “qualified embezzlement”.
Turkish media have reported that prosecutors maintain Idrizi’s $3.5 million embezzlement was carried out after he and the victim, Turkish entrepreneur Adnan Polat, met with Albania’s Prime Minister Edi Rama and got the latter’s assurances to go ahead with the transaction.
The suit filed by Adnan Polat against Albanian entrepreneur Sinan Idrizi, whose family owns 41 percent of Air Albania shares, notes that on 3 November 2016 they travelled from Turkey to Albania to meet with Prime Minister Edi Rama, discuss and receive his consent and support regarding the purchase of an Albanian company by Polat.
Former Galatasaray President Polat met Idrizi in 2016, when the latter promised to help him purchase Global Fluids International, an Albanian oil company that specialized in marking and monitoring fossil fuels.
In 2011, GFI Albania was awarded a 10-year tender to mark fossil fuels, and began its activity in 2013.
Estimates show that wholesale merchants pay GFI 5 euros (614 ALL) plus tax per thousand litres of oil. The cost of this concession falls entirely on Albanian consumers, who pay an added cost of approximately 10 million euros in tax.
Idrizi told Polat the company would sell for $17 million, and asked for a $3.5 million deposit that would be returned to Polat should the sale fall through.
Following the meeting with Prime Minister Edi Rama and his assurances about the purchase, Polat and Idrizi signed a draft-contract on 24 November 2016. Polat would give Idrizi the deposit money as a trustee, so he could pass it on to the company, thus avoiding banks. Polat sent the money in a few days.
Idrizi attempted to stall on the purchase by telling Polat that the company would be sold after the elections that would take place in Albania in 2017.
However, the sale did not take place even after the elections. When Polat asked for his $3.5 million deposit back, Idrizi refused to return the money.
Thus, Polat filed a lawsuit with the Istanbul Prosecution Office. Prosecutors are now demanding 3 to 10 years in prison for Idrizi on charges of “qualified embezzlement”.
In statements given to prosecutors, Sinan İdrizi maintains that he transferred the money to the company to be purchased, and that POlat was unable to come up with the rest 0f $13.5 million to complete the purchase.
Until 2018, Sinan Idrizi was not well-known to the public. He had no financial activities registered under his name in Albania and has not claimed to have owned any businesses overseas. He has occasionally mentioned having business connections in Turkey, where he lived for a number of years until he returned to Albania in 2014, but gave no details.
The only thing known about him is that, since 2014, he is one of the owners of the Albanian Flamurtari Football Club. However, it is not clear where the money he finances Flamurtari with is coming from.
Out of nowhere, in 2018, his company MDN Investment shpk became one of Air Albania’s shareholders with 41 percent of shares, alongside Albcontrol (10 percent) and Turkish Airlines (49 percent). Later in the same year, he sold half of his shares to his wife and daughter. He is now registered as the administrator of MDN Investment shpk.