Archive for the ‘Balkan (Englisch)’ Category

Der korrupte Berufs Stand: Anwaelte im Balkan – Romania Prime Minister Faces Trial For Corruption

Samstag, September 19th, 2015

Was Weltweit vor 20 Jahren praktisch nie vorkam, wurde durch die gekauften Diplomen oft der Mafia privaten Universitaeten heute zum Normalfall eines Anwaltes im Balkan.

Vollkommen korrupte Anwaelte, die sich auch Richter und Politiker Posten kaufen, fast immer mit gefakten Diplomaten und wohl auch hier war das Deutsche und Oesterreichische Modell der gefakten, plaikat Titel Vorbild. Es gibt bereits Laender, wo die Proffessoren der Hirnlosigkeit, nur noch aus einem Buch vorlesen koennen, wie in Mazedonien, Kosovo und Albanien und Kinder Bildung haben, wie Minister.

17 Sep 15

Romania Prime Minister Faces Trial For Corruption

Romanian anti-corruption prosecutors have indicted Prime Minister Victor Ponta over a range of crimes for which he will now have to stand trial.

Marian Chiriac


Prime Minister Victor Ponta.

Romania’s anti-corruption prosecutors’ office, DNA, on Thursday announced that Prime Minister Victor Ponta has been formally indicted for forgery, complicity with tax evasion and money laundering and will stand trial.

Ponta, who became Prime Minister in 2012, allegedly committed the crimes from 2007 through 2011 while working as a lawyer, the DNA added.

The accusations relate to Ponta’s previous activity as a lawyer for a law firm owned by a former minister, Dan Sova, a close friend of his. Sova and three other people have been indicted in the same case.

Prosecutors started the investigation against Ponta in June, saying that between 2007 and 2008, while working as a lawyer but being also an MP, he forged expense claims and received at least 181,000 lei (some 40,000 euro) from Sova’s law firm, although he did no work at the firm.

They said the firm made up activity reports for the supposed work that Ponta allegedly undertook for it.

Prosecutors said Ponta used the money to buy two apartments in Bucharest. In 2009, he also received a luxury car from Sova’s law firm without paying for it, they alleged.

longtime a crime, corruption Enterprise: Leaked OSCE Document Names ‘Corrupt’ Albanian MPs

Dienstag, September 15th, 2015


15 Sep 15

Leaked OSCE Document Names ‘Corrupt’ Albanian MPs

The OSCE admitted that a leaked report that accused Albanian politicians of corruption and ordering murders was genuine, but said it was not the organisation’s official view.

Gjergj Erebara


OSCE Head of Mission in Tirana Florian Raunig. Photo: LSA

The OSCE said on Saturday that the report alleging wrongdoing by 36 Albanian MPs, prepared in October 2014 and leaked last week to the website, “contained information circulating in the country and was not the official view of the organisation”.

The report claimed that the MPs, including Prime Minister Edi Rama, the speaker of parliament Ilir Meta and the former Prime Minister Sali Berisha, had accumulated hundreds of millions of euros through corrupt practices.

According to the report, Rama has an estimated wealth of 200 million euros hidden in offshore accounts, money allegedly accumulated through bribes in exchange for construction permits between 2000 and 2011, when he was mayor of Tirana.

The former Prime Minister Sali Berisha, currently an opposition MP, is described in the report as someone who used his power to enrich his family. The report quotes BIRN investigations about his daughter’s businesses.

The speaker of parliament and Rama’s junior coalition partner, Ilir Meta, is described as being suspected of having mafia links and of ordering at least two murders. 

The OSCE Head of Mission in Tirana, Florian Raunig, confirmed the authenticity of the report but stressed that it was only for internal use.

He said it was not intended to be seen as proven fact, but “simply a collection of information obtained by Albanian media and allegations that circulate in public”.

“I wish to express my regret that this information has become public – without authorisation – and subject to misinterpretation and political manipulation,” Raunig said in a press statement.

“The information made public doesn’t represent OSCE policy or our official views and it is not an evaluation or a judgement and has not served as the basis for other reports,” he added.

The perception that leading politicians are involved in corruption or have mafia links is widespread in Albania. However, no high-level public official had been been convicted so far.

The current head of the opposition, Lulzim Basha, was put under investigation by the prosecution in 2007 for alleged abuse of power, which allegedly cost the state about 230 million euros.

In April 2009, the Albanian supreme court closed the case against Basha, arguing that the prosecutors had exceeded the investigation’s time limits under the statute of limitations.

The current speaker of parliament Ilir Meta was charged in 2011 but was acquitted by the high court a year later.

Prime Minister Edi Rama had never been charged or put under investigation.

Berisha had his daughter Argita Malltezi put under investigation for money laundering in 2008 but this investigation was later closed.

for the albanians Education Mafia: World Bank Supports Education Reforms in Kosovo

Sonntag, September 13th, 2015

2012: Balkan education Mafia: Romanian education system rocked by scandals

Balkan Diploms: Kroatia, Albania, Kosovo, Serbia – Romania Probes High School Exam Fraud
  Kosovo University Arouses Scandals on PHD Degrees

World Bank Supports Education Reforms in Kosovo

September 10, 2015


WASHINGTON, September 10, 2015 — The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors approved today a US$11 million (currently about €9.8 million) credit for the Kosovo Education System Improvement Project (ESIP) that aims at strengthening selected systems that contribute to quality, accountability, and efficiency improvements in education in the Republic of Kosovo.

The project builds on the achievements of previous support provided by the World Bank and focuses on system-level improvements to enable stronger management, effective and evidence-based policy-making and efficient resource allocation in Kosovo’s education sector.

“The Government is placing high priority on strengthening the education system and the World Bank is pleased to continue to support these efforts,” said Jan-Peter Olters, World Bank Country Manager for Kosovo. “Investments in education are a key for reducing inter-generational poverty and for promoting prosperity at the individual and country level.”

The project will support the Government’s education sector reform strategy and agenda. More specifically, the project aims at strengthening planning, financial management, and evaluation capacities at different levels of the education sector, including the national, the municipal and the school and university level, as well as to enhance and modernize the systems and practices of data management and analysis in the education sector. It also aims at supporting and institutionalizing the teacher career system, facilitating the use of international best practices in student assessment and evaluation, and enhancing the capacities and responsiveness of tertiary education institutions to the labor market.

As the project focuses at the system level, the project benefits everyone, across all levels, in the education system. In particular, a subcomponent of School Development Grants will support schools in poorer rural areas, covering approximately 45,000 students (around 20 percent of all primary schools). Indirect beneficiaries for this subcomponent will also include school teachers, administrators, and other staff employed in those schools. Another subcomponent envisions support for the implementation of the teacher licensing and performance assessment, which would directly affect about 25,000 teachers in pre-university education.

The project is to be implemented over a period of four years, between 2015 and 2019, by the Ministry of Education, Science, and Technology of the Republic of Kosovo. It would be fully financed by a credit from the International Development Association (IDA) of the World Bank Group.

Kosovo, Albania or Montenegro : Germany Curbs Balkan Rights to Claim Asylum

Donnerstag, September 10th, 2015

08 Sep 15

Germany Curbs Balkan Rights to Claim Asylum

Germany has said it is adding Kosovo, Albania and Montenegro to the list of ’safe countries‘ that will make it more difficult for people from those countries to win asylum in Germany.

Dusica Tomovic


German Chancellor Angela Merkel

Germany on Monday announced that Kosovo, Albania or Montenegro would be classified as “safe countries of origin”, which means that people who come to Germany from those countries will be sent back more quickly, as few will be able to obtain asylum status.

Germany has already designated all EU states plus Ghana, Senegal, Serbia, Macedonia and Bosnia as „safe countries“, which means that asylum claims from nationals of these countries are likely to be rejected.

The move came as Germany on Monday unveiled its first overall plan to deal with the growing influx of refugees entering the country.

The plan, introduced by German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Vice-Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel, in Berlin, includes increasing budget and manpower resources for taking in refugees, as well as measures to speed up the processing of asylum applications.

Merkel said Germany would add 3 billion euros to the 2016 budget and provide another 3 billion euros to the German states and municipalities to handle record numbers of asylum seekers.

Under the plan, asylum applicants from the Western Balkan countries are as a rule to be made to stay in preliminary reception centers, where the authorities will help set up winter-proof accommodation for 150,000 people.

The maximum length of stay for the refugees there is to be extended from three to six months. The refugees are to be obliged to remain in residence there for that period.

Applicants who have been rejected are to be deported to their home countries more quickly than they have been in the past.

2012: Die Bevoelkerung von Bosnien, Albanien, Kosovo organisiert nur noch die Auswanderung

Besonders dramatisch ist, wegen der Politiker Klasse, welche selbst keine Schul Bildung mehr hat die Situation vor allem im Kosovo und Albanien, wo das gesamte Bildungs System auf Null ist und Posten nur noch verkauft werden, wie bei der Justiz und Polizei. Die Duemmste Europas regieren dort, oft auch in Bosnien. Selbst die Kosovo Praesidentin, hat nur gefaelschte Schul Zeugnisse. Der Betrug an Tausenden von Studenten mit ungültigen Diplomen, durch Betrugs Universitäten in Albanien

Albanische und Kosovo Politiker sind so kriminell dumm, das man nicht einmal einfachste Vorstellungen hat, der Bevoelkerung Arbeit zu geben, vor allem durch Rechts Sicherheit.

Most Young Bosnians Would Emigrate ‚Tomorrow‘, Survey Says

Paradise of the gangsters: Albania MP Resigns Over His Criminal Past

Dienstag, September 8th, 2015

08 Sep 15

Albania MP Resigns Over His Criminal Past

Arben Ndoka, the Socialist MP whose past conviction for human trafficking was revealed by the opposition in 2014, has resigned but maintains his innocence of the charges.

Gjergj Erebara


  Sequence from the leaked surveilance video showing the poment when Ndreu hits with his palm the head of Strazimiri.

Ndoka, 41, delivered his resignation on Monday, hours after another MP from the Socialist Party had his immunity lifted after being arrested on Saturday.

In the resignation letter, Ndoka claimed that he was wrongly sentenced in Italy and that he was innocent of charges of trafficking.

“I don’t want to leave you while you are thinking that I am a criminal who deserved that heavy sentence,” Ndoka said in the letter sent to his fellow MPs, adding that he hopes that one day the courts in Italy will clear him.

Ndoka was convicted in 2003 in Rome of trafficking a woman who was his brother’s fiancé. He was jailed for seven years and six months but was transferred to a prison in Albania where courts cut his sentence and he was free within less than three years.

In his letter, Ndoka claimed that the fiancé of his brother, who denounced him as trafficker to the Italian police, staged her kidnapping and that her allegations were untrue.

After regaining his freedom in August 2005, he reinvented himself as a successful business manager of a network of coffee shops while following studies in Law.

He also opened an aluminum trade company and worked as a director in the national police curbing illegal construction.

He was elected an MP on the Socialist Party ticket in 2013.

Following his exposure as a convicted felon in 2014, Ndoka assaulted Genc Strazimiri, the opposition MP who made his conviction public. He was cleared later by the High Court of charges brought by Strazimiri.

The High Court claimed that it was unable to judge the assault since the event occurred within parliament and as such had to be judged by the parliament.

Albania parties are under pressure from the international community to clean their ranks from criminals. Both parties deny having any.

However the ruling centre-left coalition had lost four MPs during the last two years as a result of criminal charges.

Tom Doshi was thrown out of the Socialist Party and is now an independent MP after he accused the Speaker of the Parliament Ilir Meta of plotting his murder. He was later charged with making fake allegations.  

Mark Frroku was jailed after it was revealed that Belgian courts wanted him to face charges for a murder in 1999 related also to human trafficking.

Armando Prenga was arrested last Saturday by police in his hometown of Lac, 40 km north of Tirana, accused of firing a pistol and injuring Tom Cali, a fisherman, during a brawl.

All the MPs were considered instrumental in securing the leftwing coalition its landslide victory in the 2013 general elections.

Schiesserei LAC: Der SP Abgeordnete Armando Prenga wurde verhaftet, 7 Personen verletzt des Verbrecher Kartells Cali

Bulgaria: Former Spy Chief Becomes Country’s First Top Official Jailed for Corruption

Donnerstag, August 13th, 2015

Bulgaria: Former Spy Chief Becomes Country’s First Top Official Jailed for Corruption

Bulgarian former intelligence chief, General Kircho Kirov, has been sentenced to ten years in prison for embezzlement.

Screen Shot 2015 08 10 at 2.24.05 PMKircho Kirov (left) on trial in Sofia.The judgment, passed by a military court in Sofia on Friday, also stipulated that half Kirov’s property be confiscated.

Kirov stole 4.7 million Bulgarian leva (US$ 2.63 million) between 2007 and 2011, falsifying more than 1,000 expense claims, according to prosecutors.

The court said the sentence given was the minimum possible, but Kirov intends to appeal it. He denies wrongdoing, claiming the money was used to recruit informers.

He told reporters that he believed the case was “politically motivated”, citing the fact the trial was held behind closed doors.

He claimed to trust the Bulgarian justice system but said he believed he was not given a fair opportunity to defend himself, according to the Bulgarian News Agency.

He told Bulgarian public radio station BNR: „This verdict fits in with the current political climate and is a response to claims imposed on our country by outside factors.”

Kirov must bring his appeal before the Military Appellate Court within 15 days of the original judgment.

The criminal investigation into Kirov lasted more than a year and a half, beginning in 2012. He had headed the intelligence service from 2003 until 2012.

The European Union, which Bulgaria joined in 2007, has consistently criticized the Bulgarian government for failing to combat domestic corruption.

Prior to Kirov’s case, the government had not convicted any top official on graft charges.

EU – US finance only criminals, faschist and stupids of the Human Rights and NGO Mafia

Dienstag, August 11th, 2015

All crime groups in Balkan, financed by the leader of crime in Brüssel and European Commission. European Commission is a motor for preparation of false reports, in order of the Ukraine and Balkan Mafia.

11 Aug 15

EU Scraps Grant For Popovic’s Women’s Project

On the request of 52 human rights groups from the region, the European Commission has withdrawn from financing the Western Balkans Female Government project, run by the controversial Serbian figure, Vladimir Beba Popovic.

Dusica Tomovic, Sasa Dragojlo

Podgorica, Belgrade

The Europen Commission

A group of regional NGOs on Tuesday welcomed the decision of Brussels not to fund a project on women’s rights run by the Montenegro-based Institute for Public Policy, found by Vladimir Popovic „Beba“.

Under pressure from the civil sector, the EU changed its decision to award 127,000 euros to Popovic’s organization, after the  organizations said he had promoted an unworthy campaign against Montenegrin right activist Vanja Calovic, which they said discredited his right to deal with women’s issues.

„Given the concern at regional level about the allocation of grants, I asked the executive agency responsible for the implementation of the programme to suspend the signature of this contract,“ the response from Matthias Ruete, the director general of the Directorate of Migration and Home Affairs in the European Commission, said.

The Belgrade-based NGO Autonomous Women Centre on Tuesday said it was „pleased that the European Commission has adopted such a decision.

„It is generally good news,“ the NGO added.

In another reaction on the EU decision, the Montenegrin Centre for Women’s Rights said the decision gave hope that EU funding competitions are not „just a formality“.

In June, 52 NGOs from Montenegro, Serbia, Croatia, Macedonia and Slovenia sent a letter to the President of the European Commission regarding the financing of the Public Policy Institute through the program Europe for Citizens.

The NGOs said the Institute director, Vladimir Beba Popovic, had led an „unworthy campaign“ against the civil society activist Vanja Calovic and indirectly against other civil society activists who are critical of the Montenegrin authorities.

The latter called the campaign against Calovic „perfidious and ruthless“, said it was based on gender discrimination, and aimed to destroy not only her professional integrity, but also her personal reputation and the ability to lead a normal life.

„It is therefore incomprehensible that an organization headed by a man who has publicly stated that he distributed videos intended to seriously harm a woman’s integrity was awarded EU funding for a project to promote women’s rights,“ the NGOs said.

This heated reaction from the non-governmental sector about Popovic followed a series of articles in the Montenegrin edition of the Belgrade-based tabloid Informer last year, accusing Calovic of bestiality.

Calovic, a prominent critic of the Montenegrin government, accused Popovic of being responsible for a video posted on the internet that led to the accusations printed in Informer.

Popovic denied having played any role in the campaign conducted against Calovic in the pages of Informer but added that he would be happy to share the video on the internet “whenever I have the chance”.

Popovic was the former information chief for the Serbian government and in 2013 founded his own NGO in Montenegro and in Serbia.

Critics says he acts as an informal media adviser to Montenegrin Prime Minister Milo Djukanovic and to Serbian premier Aleksandar Vucic – and has been behind media attacks on the opponents of both leaders.

US Show: WAR AGAINST TERRORISTS Macedonia launches operation to find IS recruiters

Freitag, August 7th, 2015

Macedonia Arrests Nine ISIS Suspects

Nine people have been arrested and the police are searching for another 27 in a large-scale operation across the country aimed at detaining suspected Islamist radicals.

The German, British, US Money Laundering Maschine: Grand Theft Moldova

Donnerstag, August 6th, 2015

Grand Theft Moldova

  • Published: Friday, 24 July 2015 14:04
    • by Paul Radu, Mihai Munteanu, Iggy Ostanin

    The bank theft was so outsized and bold that citizens of the Republic of Moldova came out in the streets this past May by the thousands to protest: “We want our billion back!”

    They used the number — US$ 1 billion – that news accounts reported had gone missing from three Moldovan banks in November of 2014.  Unsure who to blame, the protestors denounced the government, politicians, banks and organized crime.

    The theft was a serious setback for Moldova, one of Europe’s poorest countries, with a gross domestic product of only US$ 8 billion and an average wage of US$ 200 per month.

    It set off chaos in the local banking system and led to the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund suspending financial aid to the country earlier this year. The European Union also froze funding for Moldova until a new government was formed. These moves prompted fears that the country might default on its international obligations.

    The protestors last spring, outraged as they were, didn’t know the half of what had been done to them. The November billion was just the latest outrageous crime in a massive, decade-long series by criminals who use this small, Eastern European country as their personal bank.

    They also didn’t know that police could have shut down the ring years ago when they confiscated key company stamps and documents central to the corruption ring. But higher-ups stepped in and prevented arrests. The police returned the stamps and documents — which were then used six years later to launder huge sums.

    Moldova’s problem goes way behind a single audacious theft.  It involves a transnational nexus of government workers, organized criminals and businessmen, all of them untouchable despite their crimes.

    A police investigation continues but it seems nobody in the government or law enforcement has had the knowledge, skill, or desire to get at the root of the problem.

    The Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) analyzed tens of thousands of records, and found that the same people who stole the bank money operated a seemingly unrelated, large-scale, money laundering operation that laundered more than US$ 20 billion, much of it from Russian and Russian state companies, over the past seven years.

    “The main authors of the theft are not in Moldova, they are in the east,” said former Prime Minister Ion Sturza in a television interview. “Moldova laundered Russian Federation money.”


    The Vanishing Billions

    Moldova is a tiny country squeezed between the interests of Russia and the European Union. Despite or perhaps because of its rampant poverty, it has grown into one of the biggest money laundering hubs on the continent.

    Billions in black money flow annually through local banks. Moldova is a proxy – most of the money flowing through its banking system is not Moldovan. But the process has corrupted Moldovan society and wreaked havoc on the country’s politics, economy and judiciary.

    The November billion vanished after the banks gave loans to companies owned by people whose identities remain hidden in a maze of offshore corporations. The borrowers took the money and ran. The collapse of these loans was a serious blow to a Moldovan banking sector already buffeted by corruption scandals:

    • The Magnitsky Affair began in 2007 when US$ 230 million was stolen from the Russian budget. Eventually, the money was routed through a group of Moldovan banks; some of it was traced to high-end real estate in New York City.
    • The Russian Laundromat, uncovered by OCCRP in October of 2014, was much bigger, passing US$ 20 billion in stolen Russian funds through some of the same Moldovan banks en route to Europe.

    The Moldovan government did try to trace the missing billion. In January 2015, it hired the private global due-diligence company, Kroll Inc. Kroll’s first report was leaked to the public by Andrian Candu, the Moldovan Parliament’s president, just days before the mass protests. It revealed little about who ended up with the money, further deepening the mystery.

    Following the Kroll report, the Moldovan authorities placed Israeli-born businessman Ilan Shor under house arrest.  Shor’s name had been mentioned in the report in connection with the bad loans. Shor runs Banca de Economii bank (the bank involved in the Magnitsky case and one of the three banks robbed) and a football club in Moldova.

    Police are still investigating Shor and consider him a suspect in the theft, but they are unsure of his role. He says he’s innocent. In June, he was elected mayor of the small town of Orhei in Moldova.

    A major stumbling block for investigators was the fact that in November 2014, right after the theft, an armored transport vehicle carrying 12 sacks of bank documents related to the fraud was stolen and burned in what looked like a well-executed plan to erase any trail that might have led back to the organizers.

    This was deja-vu.

    The same thing happened in the Magnitsky case, when a truck carrying bank records related to that theft crashed and burned, impairing the ability of the Russian law enforcement to investigate.


    The Raiders and the Stamps

    Chisinau building where police found mysterious box of rubber stamps.Chisinau building where police found mysterious box of rubber stamps. The fondness for using Moldovan banks for crime dates back a decade. The mid 2000s were wild years when the local police were overwhelmed by both the advanced money laundering techniques the fraudsters developed and by rampant corruption in their own ranks.

    A confidential 2011 Moldovan police report summarized that:  „Our investigations and analysis indicate that an organized group specialized in ‘raider’ attacks against large companies operates on the territories of Moldova, Ukraine and Russia. Between 2005 and 2010, this group used decisions issued by courts in Moldova, Ukraine and Moldova to get more than US$ 100 million.“

    (A raider attack is the hostile and illegal takeover of a company, sometimes achieved through violence and sometimes through forgery, fraud or corrupt court decisions).

    In some cases the raiders were only interested in extorting large sums from companies. A typical scheme might involve getting corrupt judges in Moldova or Ukraine to issue judgments in the raiders’ favor in cases where they claimed fictitious debts from state-owned commercial entities.

    Using the court-approved debt as a basis, they could legally take over the company.

    The report details a few such cases at length, but one in particular, Penal Case 2008030181, seeded the huge money-laundering tsunami that crashed over the country in the following years.


    The Lost Opportunity

    In July 2008, Moldovan law enforcement officers were working a relatively small $4 million fraud case when the investigation led them to 67 Bucharest Street in the center of the Moldovan capital of Chisinau. They raided three offices there and confiscated six desktop computers full of files.

    It was all pretty routine, until they located three paper boxes under one desk that contained “an imposing number” of official rubber stamps belonging to companies registered in exotic offshore locations.

    Two of the stamps were related to the fraud they were investigating, but the rest meant nothing to them: Mirabax Limited, Liberton Associates, Felina Investments, Albany Insurance, Caldon Holdings and many other companies, including some based in the US state of Delaware or the United Kingdom.

    Some belonged to Moldovan companies and one of these, Luminare LTD, was a company founded by Veaceslav Platon, a key player in Moldovan political and business circles. Platon, 42, is Moldova’s sixth richest businessman and a politician with dual Moldovan-Russian citizenship.  He was a member of the Moldovan Parliament between 2009 and 2010.

    He has also been on the governing board of at least two Moldovan banks including Moldindconbank, which has frequently been at the center of money-laundering controversies. He is frequently called by media “The No. 1 Raider in Moldova.”


    The Agents and the Easterners

    In the beginning of 2015, while the Moldovan government was asking Kroll to investigate the November theft, OCCRP reporters were knocking on doors thousands of kilometers away from Chisinau, in Edinburgh, Scotland.

    Two street addresses on Brunswick Street in the Scottish capital kept popping up in records of the British companies involved in the November billion theft, and also in many other much bigger instances of massive money-laundering and raider attacks in Eastern Europe.

    Brunswick Street does not look affluent. Cheap cars are parked outside terraced red brick housing and the two addresses don’t look like the headquarters for multi-billion-dollar businesses.

    The people who live there are “formation agents”, people who set up companies for others who wish to conceal their identities, and “proxies” or front men for the people who actually own the companies.

    At one of the Brunswick Street addresses, the door was answered by Ishbel Papantoniou, a plump lady in her early 60s who is the wife of the man behind the Brunswick companies, Marios Papantoniou. He is a former chief tax inspector in Cyprus who moved to Edinburgh in the early 1990s and set up an accounting and company-formation business there.

    At first, Ms. Papantoniou greeted a Russian-speaking reporter in a friendly manner. She said that “a lot of Russian companies, from what I know, register so they can work within Europe.” She also added that Russian businesses might want to do this because “it opens a world with less restrictions, so to speak.”

    On a second visit, however, Ms. Papantoniou became agitated when the reporter told her that OCCRP was investigating high-level money-laundering operations involving companies where she, her husband, her son and her 81-year-old mother showed up in paperwork.

    “I don’t think that’s any of your concern at all. You’re looking into something that you’ve no idea what you’re getting into,” she said. “We offer office facilities for these companies…there’s absolutely nothing that’s illegal or anything. You’re trying to find something in a company that’s providing services, that pays income tax, that provides employment for people in this country.”

    The offices next door belong to a company called Axiano that was also established by Marios Papantoniou. This company, too, was the registration agent for a number of companies involved in Eastern European fraud. In the office reception area, several women were having lunch. A closed-circuit TV camera was trained on the entrance.

    A young woman answered and, in an Eastern European accent, said that Marios Papantoniou wasn’t available, but his son Alexandros was.

    The former tax chief inspector’s son arrived soon after but seemed nervous and reluctant to speak. Expressionless, he brushed aside the questions with the invariable statement, “the best person to talk to might be my father.”

    OCCRP made one more attempt to talk to Marios Papantoniou to seek his response to a document signed by Kerry Jane Farrington, an employee of the local Edinburgh Crematorium, who Papantoniou used as a proxy in companies he established for Eastern Europeans.

    Marios Papantoniou was unavailable, so OCCRP left the document with a Russian-speaking office worker. Marios Papantoniou promptly responded via email but refused to answer questions about the involvement of his companies in Eastern corruption and crime.


    The Grand Mockery

    On April 5, 2013, Moldovan Judge Victor Orindas issued a verdict: a group of Russian companies must send US$ 580 million to the Latvian bank account of Mirabax Investments Limited, a Brunswick company connected to Marios Papantoniou and one of the companies whose rubber stamp was confiscated and then returned by the police back in 2008.

    The scam, outlined in OCCRP’s series The Russian Laundromat, was simple.  A Russian company wishing to move money into Europe would guarantee a contract signed between two fake companies.  Then one of the fake companies would file a complaint against the other in a Moldovan court for non-payment and ask that the guarantor, the Russian company, make good on the unfulfilled contract.  A bribed Moldovan judge would certify the debt as real and order payment.  Then the Russian company would pay the fake company, which was actually working with them.  Combined with the judge’s order, the money could be moved through Moldova into a Latvian bank account – freshly laundered and ready to use.

    The rubber stamps the police briefly seized seven years previously were used over and over again on documents that were introduced as evidence into Moldovan courts to falsely certify debts that finally amounted to US$ 20 billion.

    By 2012, the organized crime group that began operations in 2005 had upped their game significantly and had become brazen. The initial frauds totaling millions had turned into billions. When Judge Orindas issued the US$ 580 million verdict he was ruling on a clumsily forged document; other judges across Moldova did likewise, enabling the criminals to move huge volumes of money from Russia.

    All the Moldovan rulings were based on promissory notes presented as evidence to courts. In the case of the US$ 580 million, the promissory note was concluded between a Delaware company called Albany Insurance and a British company, Golbridge Trading Limited. Albany promised to pay Golbridge more than half a billion US dollars and the note is signed by a Mrs. Jasse Grant Hester and rubber-stamped with Albany’s stamp, another one of the stamps seized and returned back in 2008.

    But there is no Golbridge Trading in the UK and there is no Mrs. Jasse Grant Hester. There is, however, a Mr. Jesse Grant Hester who is the director of the Delaware-based Albany Insurance and there is a London-based Goldbridge Trading Limited, a company connected to Brunswick street and, again, one of the names that emerged in the police operations conducted six years earlier in Moldova and Ukraine. In the end, Goldbridge diverted the money to Mirabax, the company that ultimately cashed in in its Latvian bank account.


    Korrupter Deppen Club der KAS, CDU und der Steinmeier Banden: Moldawien’s Gangster Boss: Gaburici musste zurücktreten

    Einzige Qualifikation: Billig Schallplatte mit rufen wie: „Demokratie, Reformen“ und dann vermarkten die dümmsten Internationalen, jeden Verbrecher als Held und Demokratien.

    Allen voran Frank Walter Steinmeier, dessen Scheckbuch Diplomatie, berüchtigt ist, ein anderes Wort für „Berufs Kriminellen, mit Profi Auslands Bestechung“, wobei seine Geschäfte mit Heckler & Koch im Ausland, an Mexianische Banditen, Internationale Terroristen das harmloseste noch sind.

    Wie allgemein üblich, zuletzt auch Victor Ponta in Rumänien, hat praktisch jeder heute gefakte und gefälschte Diplome (auch die EU Vertreter), aber wohl nur in Moldawien, Albanien und dem Kosovo, hat man gefälschte Schul Zeugnisse, einem Markenzeichen der Dumm Internationalen und der installierten Vasallen rund um den Georg Soros Zirkel, wie man mit Zoran Zaev, gerade auch in Mazedonien sah.

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Disappointed Asylum Seekers Head Home to Albania

19 Aug 15

At Tirana airport, relatives await the return of family members who failed to obtain asylum in Germany – who have chosen to go home or been repatriated.

Aleksandra Bogdani


Han Tola embraces his daughter after her return in Tirana from Germany asylum seeker camps | Photo: Ivana Dervishi/BIRN

Han Tola returned dismayed to the arrival hall at Tirana’s Mother Tereza airport, only two months after he said goodbye to his daughter.

“She stayed about six weeks in a camp. It was futile,” the 60-year-old told BIRN, scrutinizing the exit gate in order to spot his daughter after she landed.

She was returning along with dozens of other Albanians on a charter flight from Frankfurt organized by the German authorities.

Han, the father of eight, brought his large family in 1990 from the mountainous northern region of Kukes to live in a big shantytown near the capital.

He still owns houses in both Kukes and Tirana and his family doesn’t seem that poor.

Like many others waiting in the airport, Han thinks his country is a hopeless case, however.

For his daughter, who had hoped to move to the United States, Germany was not the first choice.

After staying a month-and-a-half in a refugee camp in Frankfurt, she voluntarily withdrew her asylum request.

In exchange, she got back her passport “clean” and was given a free ticket to go back home.

Last Thursday’s charter flight with 83 people on board was the fourth special flight organized during the last two weeks.

It landed in Tirana at 3pm. About 40 minutes later, relatives awaiting loved ones queued in the exit hall, some not sure if they should stay there or go to the police station.

A police officer tried to calm the crowd, saying that those who had agreed to voluntary return would not need a police interview but could simply go home.

“I am waiting for my own brother. He is being returned from Germany,” he said.

About 30,000 Albanians filed requests for asylum in Germany in the first half of this year, German Interior Ministry data show.

It is an enormous number for a country that in the last census had just 2.8 million inhabitants.

Over recent days, the German authorities have started a public information campaign in the Balkans, with messages in Albanian and Serbian, warning people that they have no chance of obtaining asylum in Germany.

However, previous attempts by both Albanian and German authorities to convince people not to leave have achieved little.

The number of asylum seekers from Albania has shown constant growth this year, peaking in June, when 5,932 Albanian nationals filed applications, not only in Germany but in other European countries, albeit in smaller numbers.

Albanian asylum seekers repatriated in Tirana International Airport on August 13, 2015. Photo: Ivana Dervishi/BIRN

During the last two weeks, Germany and Luxembourg have repatriated about 300 asylum seekers to Albania – just 1 per cent of those who are still in the camps.

“We expect many more repatriations,” Ermal Milori, chief of police at the Airport Commissariat, told BIRN.

Albanian police follow two different procedures with returnees. Those who returned voluntarily are treated like any other traveler while those who are repatriated forcibly are questioned for hours before leaving.

As the returnees started to appear in the exit gate, we saw several teenagers. Han’s daughter followed them.

“The camp was dreadful,” she said after embracing her father.

Many from those who returned described the poor conditions in the camps in Germany as the main reason for coming home, as well as fear of penalties.

The reality encountered in Germany was very different from what one 20-year-old from Shkodra in north Albania had expected.

“I went with the hope of finding a job but it was impossible,” the young man said.

Milori, the chief of police in Tirana airport, says the police are more concerned about those who are leaving than about those who are returning.

But he adds that it is hard to spot people leaving. Most asylum seekers uses the buses, or catch a plane from Kosovo or Macedonia when they leave for Germany, because plane tickets from Tirana are more expensive and because the Albanian police conduct more searches.

“If we find various documents of old newspapers containing info about conflicts in their luggage, then we stop them,” Milori said.

Photo caption: Albanian asylum seekers repatriated in Tirana International Airport on 13 August 2015. Photo: Ivana Dervishi/BIRN

A study published on the German Interior Ministry website states that the number of asylum seekers from the Balkans quadrupled in the last few months. The Germans call them “social asylum seekers”.

The report says that although Albania, Serbia, Kosovo, Macedonia and Montenegro are very different in term of politics, economics and ethnicity, all have a similar trend towards mass emigration.

“The causes of the last wave [of asylum-seekers] in Germany are simply low standards of life and social marginalization,” the ministry study noted.