From: Alice Taylor
Charges Dropped Against Four Suspected of Smuggling EUR 3.4 Million into Albania in Toyota Yaris

The court of Tirana has dropped the charges for four of the six accused of the transport of EUR 3.4 million in two cars ‘Toyota Yaris’ in the port of Durrës, on June 24, 2018.

The court dismissed the case of Alfred Vladin, Edi Lika, Klevi Canin and Alban Mollaymer.

The only ones against whom the court has not dropped the charges are Ervis Vladi who is accused of ‘non-declaration of money at the border’ and Agim Çeka who is accused of ‘illegal possession of weapons’.

This case was transferred to the Court of Tirana after the Serious Crimes prosecution rejected the accusations of it being the work of a  structured criminal group.

On the evening of June 24, 2018, the Albanian police seized about EUR 3.4 million hidden in two Toyota Yaris cars at the Port of Durres. They were found within a trailer on a ferry arriving in Albania from Italy. The cars were being transported into Albania for businessman Alban Mollaymeri.

Prior to the discovery of the vehicles, Opposition leader Lulzim Basha had warned of a Toyota Yaris on its way to Albania with EUR 1.5 million in it. He accused the head of the Socialist Party Parliamentary group Taulant Balla of being involved in ensuring it reached an Elbasan drugs gang. Balla denied the accusation. 

The cars were found in a carriage on the ferry coming from Bari to Durrës. Along with the two cars with money, in the trailer that belonged to an Albanian transport company, there were 8 other cars. The itinerary of the cars was Belgium-Germany-Italy-Albania.

In January, the four suspects were released from detention with an obligation to appear before the court during the trial. Alban Mollaymeri, Klevis Cani and Edi, who face charges of money laundering on behalf of a criminal group, and Agim Çekaj, charged with illegal possession of firearms, left the prison after the decision.

Elvis Vladi and Alfred Vladi, who are on the run, won’t be detained during the trial. Prosecutors claim they were the ones to be delivered the money, had the transportation been successful.

Then in August, it was announced that the suspects would only be charged for not declaring the money in the vehicles. It was alleged that there was no evidence of an organised crime or money laundering.

Today, the Court of Tirana dropped the charges against Vladin, Lika, Canin, and Mollaymer. It retained charges against the two individuals ‘on the run’  who are accused of not declaring money at the border and one count of possession of an illegal weapon.

Simply put, after being found smuggling EUR 3.4 million into Albania, those involved will walk free and the two ‘on the run’ will face minor  charges