The Special Prosecution against Corruption and Organized Crime (SPAK) in Tirana has seized additional assets belonging to Ora News TV owner Ylli Ndroqi.
SPAK has requested the court that the assets, including 32 properties, apartments, shares, plots of land, vehicles and businesses be transferred to the Albanian state.
The initial verification resulted in the seizure of assets in August 2020, and subsequent in-depth investigations have been performed and resulted in the identification of more assets that should be seized.
They include land with a total area of 9232.8 m2 worth of around EUR 1.6 million.
They also conducted an investigation into the income and expenditures of Ndroqi and his family. After considering all income revenue and streams, they observed some EUR 3 million that were unaccounted for.
SPAK said that the seized assets cannot be accounted for financially based on the level of income and profits realized legally.
Seized property includes apartments and plots in Durrës and Tirana, whereas vehicles include a Mercedes, Land Rover, and a Rolls-Royce.
Shares seized include majority shares of YLDON, ORA, and CHANNEL ONE, companies that hold and control his media companies.
Ndroqi has claimed he is innocent and is being targeted because his station is critical of Mayor of Tirana Erion Veliaj and Prime Minister Edi Rama.
When his assets were initially seized in 2020, armed police surrounded his TV station. This led to criticism from media freedom organisations who claimed it sent a threatening message to critical media.
SPAK explains that Ndroqi, also known as Xhemail Pasmaçiu, has been arrested twice:
– On September 2, 1998, the Istanbul police arrested in flagrante delicto with 30.5 kg of heroin, Ylli Ndroqi, identified as Xhemail Pasmaçiu, and 6 other people. Interpol Tirana has confirmed the data and it turned out that Ylli Bahri Ndroqi, born on March 11, 1965, born and living in Tirana, is the same person as Xhemail (Xhemal) Pasmaciu (Pasmaçiu), arrested in Turkey.
– In 2004, in Italy, Ylli Ndroqi (aka Xhemail Pasmaciu), was referred to the Judicial Authorities at the end of an operation, as the organizer of drug trafficking on behalf of a criminal group. In 2006, the Milan prosecutor’s office issued an arrest warrant for Ndroqi. He was arrested on 17 February 2015, based on an arrest warrant issued in 2006.