Greece Hands Over Balili’s 10,000-Page Criminal Dossier

Television channel Top Channel reports that on November 12 the Greek government sent the Albanian Ministry of Justice a 10,000-page criminal dossier on former Director of the Road Transportation Directorate in Saranda Kelmend (or Klement) Balili.

This is the second time that the Greek authorities send a dossier containing facts and witness reports on murder, drugs, and human trafficking related to Balili to the Ministry of Justice (MD), headed by Minister of Justice Ylli Manjani from the Socialist Movement for Integration (LSI). The first time, the dossier wasn’t forwarded to the Prosecution because the MD was unable to find a translator from Greek to Albanian.

This time, the Greek authorities translated the dossier by themselves to avoid any delay from the MD in forwarding it to the Prosecution. Official sources within the MD have affirmed that the dossier will be handed over this morning.

Kelmend Balili escaped from Albanian in 2016 after the Greek police issues an arrest warrant. Together with the US DEA and their Albanian counterparts, the Greek police had investigated Balili for years in relation to the drugs trafficked by the criminal organization he was suspected to direct.

Balili himself accused former Prime Minister Sali Berisha of working together with the Greek police to attack Prime Minister Edi Rama.

During 2014–2016, the Greek, Bulgarian, and UK have confiscated about 3.4 marijuana and 23 kg of cocaine trafficked by Balili’s organization.

Albanian institutions never suspected anything

Balili’s criminal operations over the years have been silently passed over by a long list of Albanian institutions, which have failed at any point to intervene:

  • In 2014, former Minister of Transport and Infrastructure Edmond Haxhinasto (also LSI) nominated Balili as director of the Road Transportation Directorate of Saranda. At the time, the Democratic Party (PD) denounced the nomination as being in conflict with the decriminalization law, citing Balili’s 2006 arrest for drug trafficking. In spite of this fact Minister Haxhinasto confirmed the nomination of Balili, without explaining why a rich businessman would need a relatively lowly paid bureaucratic position overseeing local road transportation, without any previous qualification.
  • As public functionary from 2014 until his escape in 2016, Balili was obliged to report and justice his wealth and assets to the High Inspectorate of the Declaration and Control of Wealth and Conflict of Interests (ILDKPKI). In spite of heading a criminal organization and controlling several luxurious holiday resorts, the ILDKPKI never found any issue.
  • In spite of having the dossier concerning the arrest of Balili in 2006 in their archives, the Police of Saranda never followed up on the criminal antecedents of Balili when he was nominated in Saranda in 2014. None of the property of him or his family was ever investigated for money laundering.
  • In 2014, the Municipality of Saranda filed a lawsuit against the company of Balili for illegal construction works in the touristic resort owned by him. The National Urban Construction Inspectorate (INUK) failed to intervene, in spite of having destroyed many other illegal buildings in the area.
  • The Prosecution of Saranda failed to investigate the lawsuit of the Municipality of Saranda, nor did it ever investigate any of the indications that Balili was laundering criminal money through his touristic resorts.
  • Similarly, the General Directorate for the Prevention of Money Laundering (DPPPP) failed to notice any suspicious transaction of Balili in relation to his sources of his income and his investments in touristic resorts.
  • And finally, Speaker of Parliament Ilir Meta (LSI), Minister of Finance Arben Ahmetaj (PS), and former PS deputy Koço Kokëdhima, all took part in the private opening of the touristic resort of the brother Balili in Saranda. At that time, it was impossible that neither of them was aware of the 2006 conviction as well as the widespread rumors about the source of Balili’s wealth. They nevertheless attended the event, thus implicating the entire government in the cover-up of Balili’s criminal operations.