The latest massive leak of confidential financial documents is shedding light on the secretive businesses of such regional bigwigs as Andrej Babis of Czechia, Milo Djukanovic of Montenegro, Sinisa Mali of Serbia and many others.
First part of the leaked confidential financial documents refer to Albania, too.
Media across the globe were flooded on Sunday with investigations based on the nearly three terabytes of documents from the new massive data leak, the so-called Pandora Papers.
Following on from the Panama Papers and FinCEN files, the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists obtained nearly 12 million files from 14 service providers – bankers, lawyers, accountants, and registration agents – and shared them with more than 600 journalists around the world, including BIRN.
In total, 35 current and former national leaders appear in the leaks, alongside 400 officials from nearly 100 countries; Southeastern and Central European countries are no exception.
Data from the Pandora Papers include politicians from all Balkan countries who so far remain unnamed.
In the Pandora Papers, BIRN has discovered that the Bosnian engineering giant Energoinvest, which built the electricity interconnection line between Albania and Kosovo, paid more than 3.6 million euros to a small UAE-based consultancy headed by Vasil Kallupi, an Albanian businessman with political connections.
The project, ten years in the making and of significant strategic importance to both Albania and Kosovo, lays the foundations for Kosovo’s energy independence from its former ruler Serbia and for the creation of a new energy block in the region.
Local media said on Monday that one of those involved in the project was a close connection of former PM Fatos Nano.
Financed through a loan from the German state-owned development bank KfW, the tendering procedures for the Albanian section of the power line were launched in 2011.
The files also allegedly link the Czech Prime Minister, Andrej Babis, to a murky 15-million-euros offshore deal to finance the purchase of a mansion in the south of France – unfortunate timing, given this week’s general election in the country.
Former British PM Tony Blair and his wife are linked with this nature of secretive financial affairs. Blair has been paid personal advisory to PM Rama. /argumentum.al