The chairman of the opposition Democratic Party (DP), Lulzim Basha was questioned by Belgian prosecutors in connection with the Toyota Yaris file in Tirana on Thursday.
Leaving the headquarters of the Special Anti-Corruption Prosecution, Basha stated that the Belgian justice is determined to go to the end of this case, adding that he is ready to cooperate in spite of the wish of the persona non grata or not.
The DP leader said that the Albanians were told that the money confiscated in 2018 in the Toyota Yaris type vehicle was divided between politicians, but added that this is not true as they have been confiscated and the investigation continues.
“Whenever necessary I will cooperate with the Belgian justice and any partner country in the fight against organized crime and in particular the links of politics with crime,” he said. “Albanians have been told that the case is closed and the money has been divided between politicians. The money has been confiscated. The investigation continues. SPAK and BKH employees have and will have the support of the DP to move forward with the investigation of cases in their jurisdiction,” said Basha.
The DP head accepted he was in the role of the person who has knowledge of the circumstances of the event. “The Belgian prosecutors had a purpose beyond my interview. I am convinced as much as I shared with the Belgian prosecutors and since the investigation is underway, I can not talk about other details,” Basha declared.
The case is linked with money of one of the largest Albanian criminal groups in cocaine trafficking.
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, DP leader 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.
According to local media, Basha has tried to use history politically, without calculating the consequences. He was reportedly given the information in good faith by a former high-ranking police officer. / Argumentum.al