From: Exit News
Government Paid Convicted Drug Trafficker to House Quake Victims in Hotel

The Albanian government housed victims of the 26 November earthquake in a hotel owned by a criminal in jail for drug trafficking and organised crime, who is also linked to the election-rigging scandal that plagues the Socialist Party government.

Four days after the earthquake, the government listed 15 hotels that they would pay to house families affected by the quake. Among them was Hotel Germany, owned by Flamur Avdylaj.

Flamur was arrested in 2018 along with two of his brothers on charges of trafficking drugs between Albania and Germany. They were arrested as a part of an operation called “Volvo 4” that discovered a heroin lab in Has.

The brothers were also involved in rigging the 2017 general election, as evidenced by leaked prosecution wiretaps that were published in 2019 by German newspaper BILD. The tapes showed collusion between Socialist Party officials, Prime Minister Edi Rama, state officials, and gang members to intimidate voters, buy votes, and manipulate the outcome of the election. To date, no one has been charged with an offence relating to this matter.

The government would have paid Flamur around ALL 2000 per day for emergency costs according to documents relating to the emergency fund. Three months later, Astrid Avdylaj was asked to justify the property by the state-  something that was apparently not a concern in November.