Balkan (Englisch)

Europe’s outdoor cannabis capital: „about half of Albania’s GDP“

Only Cannabis: about half of Albania’s GDP and with the other crime business and money laundering: 75-90 % of Albania’s GDP


„I pay the police 20%. Everybody has to pay. If you don’t pay they will take you to jail,“ he says.


Europe’s outdoor cannabis capital

  • 1 December 2016
  • From the section Magazine


Albania has become the largest producer of outdoor-grown cannabis in Europe. The potent plant has been described as „green gold“ for struggling farmers. In a poor nation, it’s a billion-euro industry.

Off a dirt road, in a small village north of Tirana, there’s a half-built, tumble-down, brick house. It stands alone and looks abandoned. It isn’t. The sweet, heady odour that seeps from one of the rooms reveals its current function: cannabis production. Inside, more than half the floor space is covered with buds of the drying drug.

„There’s about 20kg here,“ says the man who owns it. He is young – late 20s maybe – dressed in skinny jeans, a tight top and trainers. And he is one of thousands making money from the cannabis boom.

In Albania, a kilo of this illegal drug sells for between 100 and 200 euros (£85 to £170). In Italy it will fetch about 1,500 euros. And most of the country’s cannabis crop is trafficked out – north through Montenegro, south to Greece, or west across the Adriatic to Italy. There is no significant home market. One source estimates the illicit industry may be worth five billion euros (£4.25bn) per year – about half of Albania’s GDP.

The 20kg of stinking greenery slowly drying in the sunlight that streams through an open window does not represent this man’s entire crop.

„I’ve produced 350kg,“ he says. „This year almost every single house in the village grew cannabis – tons and tons have been produced in this community alone.“

This man employs 15 people to pick and process, and armed guards to defend his crop. He says he is in charge here, but he probably belongs to a wider network. So if everyone is growing it, and that seems to be common knowledge, why has there been no police raid?

„I pay the police 20%. Everybody has to pay. If you don’t pay they will take you to jail,“ he says.

Then, he gets defensive.

„This is our curse – there are no jobs, no work here. There’s no money in growing anything else. I know it’s not a good thing I’m doing, but there’s no other way.“

Image caption Police vaults store thousands of bags of cannabis seized in raids

For decades Albanians lived under a punishing, closed regime. Then, after communism fell, came a period marked by civil unrest and the rapid growth of organised crime. Twenty-five years later, unemployment is still high and corruption rife – conditions that enable the cannabis trade to flourish.

The government has had some success in its fight against the illegal industry.

It says more than two million cannabis plants have been destroyed this year, and now that the growing season is over, police are concentrating on confiscating the drug as it is prepared for trafficking out of Albania.

Some of the hauls have been huge.

In a vast warehouse in the town of Rreshen, tucked into the foothills of the mountains north of Tirana, tier after tier of drying cannabis is laid out on mesh shelves. On the concrete floor, there are more waist-high mounds of the drug. Sacks of it lie around, and it spills out of the open back doors of a transit van.

In the middle of this sea of weed – his woolly hat pulled low, his glasses on the end of his nose, and a gun at his hip – is the police officer in charge, Agron Cullhaj, who describes it as the largest ever find in this area.

In this one location there are more than four tonnes of cannabis, with a street value in Italy of some six million euros (£5m).

„When I took office in 2013, I started to plan huge action against the illegal cultivation of cannabis,“ says the Home Minister, Saimir Tahiri.

In their mission to rid Albania of the cannabis scourge, the government has the support of the Italians. The Guardia di Finanza pays for aerial surveillance to identify plantations, and it is their statistics that Albanian politicians quote.

„From 2013 to 2016, the figures show more than a 30% decrease in the area of Albania cultivated with cannabis. That means we’re on the right path,“ says Tahiri.

The 30% decrease came about largely because a mammoth police operation in 2014 destroyed the well-entrenched cannabis industry in Lazarat, a southern village once notorious as the drug capital of Europe. In the raid – employing firepower, special forces and armoured vehicles – many tonnes of cannabis were seized and thousands of plants destroyed.

But if you compare the Italians‘ figures for 2015 and 2016, they reveal a five-fold increase in the area cultivated with cannabis. Sources within Albania suggest many communities have turned to drug production for the first time this year.

Corruption is critical to the success of this illicit business – something the Home Minister recognises.

„For sure police have been corrupted,“ he says. „Since my first day in office, more than 3,000 police officers are under criminal or disciplinary investigations. That’s nearly 20% of the whole troop.“

Not all of those officers have been fingered over cannabis, though. Corruption in Albania bleeds into so many cracks of everyday life.

Find out more

Listen to Albania’s cannabis boom on BBC Radio 4’s Crossing Continents at 11:00 on Thursday 1 December – or catch up later on the BBC iPlayer

The programme can also be heard on Assignment on the BBC World Service

Another reason the cannabis trade is hard to stub out is that it pays well – about 20 euros (£17) a day in some places.

„As a waiter I got paid only a third of what I earned with cannabis,“ says a 20-year-old, whose parents stopped him going to work when they found out what he was doing.

He lives on the outskirts of Tirana, in a suburb that rural families migrated to when the communist edifice collapsed in the early 1990s. They came looking for work, but more than two decades later it is still hard to find regular, legal employment. Weed has filled a gap.

„At 4am you see crowds of people outside going to work,“ says the young man. „The streets are full – women, men, young people – even children…“

Fleets of minivans carry workers out to the countryside. In the growing season they labour in the plantations. After the harvest, they prepare and pack the drug ready for its illicit export.

Critics say it’s these daily workers who are most likely to be caught in police raids, while the big fish escape. And that even if someone connected to organised crime is picked up, there are few prosecutions on serious charges, such as membership of a criminal network.

The minister, Saimir Tahiri, says that is not true.

„We haven’t chosen to go after villagers who plant small areas to kill their poverty. We go after those who, in our analysis, are ‚big fish‘. We have nearly 1,600 ongoing criminal proceedings, and we’ve made more than 400 arrests, which shows we’re going after those who finance, organise and gain profit from this business.“

There is widespread concern in many quarters in Albania about the wider impact of cannabis production, and how young people – ambitious and impatient for a better life – can be persuaded not to get involved.

„There are too many young people in prison. I think they are victims,“ says Catholic priest, Father Gjergj Meta.

„Many of them – men and women – are convinced they can make a lot of money. So the cultivation of cannabis doesn’t give us a culture of work. People are desperate. They don’t see a future.“

Father Gjergj penned a letter that was published online, and went viral in Albania. He addressed it to an imaginary youth.

„You may not be able to read this letter,“ he wrote. „Perhaps you’re guarding cannabis in a field, processing it, carrying it in sacks, or maybe you’re even in jail…“ Then in beautiful prose he described how Albania’s troubled history – communism, the cult of strong men, and organised crime – has reduced opportunity. The letter ends with an appeal to young people to turn their backs on the cannabis fields.

With few alternatives, it is a plea that may well fall on deaf ears.


Bank of China Set to Start Serbia Operation

22 Nov 16

Bank of China Set to Start Serbia Operation

Bank of China will receive a full licence to start operating at the beginning of 2017 in Serbia – the first Balkan country to host one of the world’s largest banks.

Danilo Hinic


Jorgovanka Tabakovic, governor of the Central Bank of Serbia. Photo: Media Centre Belgrade

After getting a preliminary license last week, Bank of China is set to start operating in the country in early 2017, the Central Bank of Serbia said on Monday.

Serbia will be first Balkan country to host what is the world’s fifth largest bank by total assets.

Jorgovanka Tabakovic, the governor of Central Bank of Serbia, said that by the end of this year, Bank of China will be fully registered and licensed for operation from January, after making its initial application to open an office in June.

“I am proud that one of the world’s five largest banks is coming to Serbia and that the briefness of the period in which the preliminary licence was given says a lot about this bank and its cooperation with the Central Bank of Serbia,” Tabakovic told a press conference on Monday.

The bank’s office in Serbia will not only serve businesses in Serbia but will also be its main hub for conducting business with other Balkan countries and Greece.

China has been expanding its influence in Serbia with long-term projects in Serbia related to investments in industry and infrastructure.

Most of the deals were concluded this year, including Chinese investment in the modernisation of the steelworks in Smederevo, agreed between the Serbian government and He Steel company in June 2016, and the Chinese-financed construction of a fast rail link between Belgrade and Budapest that was confirmed by the Serbian, Hungarian and Chinese authorities at the beginning of November.

While at the outset, Bank of China will only serve Chinese and Serbian companies, economist Ljubisa Savic said he believes that “in a few years or sooner, it will probably start to work with the general public as well”.

Savic told news agency Tanjug that Bank of China will strengthen Beijing’s presence in Serbia and will play an important role in funding investment projects in the country, which he claimed would amount to $1.7 billion.

Balkan drug route, increased for more than 700 % in period 2014 – 2016

Balkan drug route 
 Part of channel(s): Syria (current event)

According to DEA in zagreb, croatia, trough Balkan drug route, per year is smuggled drug worth more than 21 billion USD ~ 18 Milliarde €.

Biggest drug dealers and muslim albanian clans located in albania, fyrom (macedonia), montenegro and kosovo.

Due to refugee crisis and war in Syria, quantity of drug smuggled to europe from middle east and afghanistan was increased for more than 700 % in period 2014 – 2016.

Schwere Unruhen in bulgarischem Flüchtlingslager

Schriftgrösse: Decrease font Enlarge font

Ein aggressiver und gewaltbereiter Flüchtlings-Mob sorgt im bulgarischen Harmanli für schwere Unruhen.

Die Spannungen im Flüchtlingslager in Harmanli brachen gestern Abend erneut aus. Mehr als 40 arabische Migranten wurden wegen Vandalenakten festgenommen. Sie hatten öffentliches Eigentum zerstört. Um Ordnung unter den rebellierenden Mohammedanern wieder herzustellen, setzte die Polizei Wasserwerfer und Gummigeschosse ein.

Renitente Migranten hatten laut bulgarischen Nachrichtenquellen die Polizei angegriffen und mit Steinen beworfen, Fenster zerschlagen und Reifen in Brand gesetzt. Zusätzliche Polizeikräfte aus Harmanli, Burgas und Kardschali mussten hinzugezogen werden.

Die Rebellion enstand, weil vor zwei Tagen das Flüchtlingszentrum unter Quarantäne gestellt worden war, nachdem Anwohner Bedenken über die Gesundheit von Migranten geäussert hatten. Laut dem Direktor der Staatlichen Agentur für Flüchtlinge, sei dies zumeist auf eine schlechte persönliche Hygiene der Migranten zurückzuführen, die offene Wunden bei einigen dieser Leute verursacht habe.

Videoclip: Mohammedaner greifen ihre Gastgeber an

NATO Desaster: Dutch, Maltese and German based NGOs deal in migrant smuggling

Caught in the act: NGOs deal in migrant smuggling

Abandoned boat on the coast
Photo: Shutterstock/Nightman1965

Ship-tracking software and reports from journalists prove that NGOs, the Italian Coast Guard and smugglers coordinate their actions. The Automatic Identification System (AIS) exposes NGOs operating in Libyan territorial waters. Since the ouster of President Ghadafi, a growing number of Africans are smuggled into Europe. They travel via Libya from where they cross the Mediterranean. Different “humanitarian” organisations or NGOs involved are an indispensable part of the smuggle route to Europe. We noticed that the Italian coast guard, NGOs and locals coordinate their actions. Whatever they call it themselves, these operations cannot be classified as genuine rescue operations.

The Dutch, Maltese and German based NGOs are part of the human smuggling network and one wonders, are these NGOs themselves criminal organisations.

Whatever the motives of these NGOs, their behaviour is illegal, and in countries governed by a constitution, i.e. European states, crime should be prosecuted regardless of the intention of its perpetrators.

We followed the movements of the Golfo Azzurro on 12 October. We used AIS Marine Traffic signals, twitter and the live reports of a Dutch journalist on board of the Golfo Azzurro.

NGOs Armada operating off the coast of Libya

A Greek Coastguard ship
Photo: Shutterstock/Malcolm Chapman

Since 2015 more and more private NGOs are involved in the illegal migrant ferrying from Libya to Italy. They all claim to be on a rescuing mission, but are they? “We can now confirm that at least 3,800 people have died, making 2016 the deadliest ever,” William Spindler, a spokesman for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), declared last week. The previous record, 3,771 lives lost,, was set in 2015. Despite a sharp drop in the number of refugees fleeing across the Mediterranean, from 1.01 million last year to 327,800 so far this year, more and more people drown at sea or die as a result of other causes1).

Death road to Europe promoted on the web

Life jackets were dumped in the sea. Safety at sea is not interested. This could be an accident, even death.
Photo: Shutterstock/songpholt

Jonathan Samuels, Sky News Correspondent, and his team discovered a discarded handbook, printed in Arabic, on the shore of the Isle of Lesbos, providing the migrants with detailed information on the routes, important phone numbers, non-government organizations that aid the migrants and on their rights in target countries1). WatchTheMed ( and and w2eu ( and are among the organizations listed in the said rough guide.

The same website provides leaflets, instructions and ‘visit cards’ to be printed in such languages as English, French, Arabic, Farsi (or Persian, spoken in Iran and Afghanistan), Pashto (one of the two official languages in Afghanistan), Tigrinya (spoken in Ethiopia and Eritrea) and Somali. The visit card gives WatchTheMed Alarm Phone on one side and a very short guidance on two cases: Distress at Sea and (Danger of) Pushback, on the other2). The brochure entitled ‘Risks, Rights and Safety at Sea’ (there are versions for the West Mediterranean, Central and the Aegean Seas) provides instruction on how to prepare for the journey in a boat across the sea. The migrant is told to make sure the boat is seaworthy; that he has enough food, water, and clothing; that he has his GPS and mobile phone with fully charged batteries, paid for overseas calls; he is advised to notify his relatives and friends in the target country as well as in his home country of the place and time of the departure and arrival, so they know when to inform the services in case the arrival is overdue; to have warning signals to attract the attention of the vessels passing by, since, as it is stated, every captain has the obligation to rescue seafarers without regard for their nationality or legal status; how to behave during the rescue operation; and, once on European soil, how to claim the right for asylum under the 1951 Geneva Convention. The migrants are told in no uncertain terms what they must say in order to be granted asylum, which is granted because of prosecution for race, religion, nationality, membership of a social or political group. The migrant is also encouraged to report any violation of his rights.

The brochure entitled ‘Welcome to Greece’ of October 2015 explains that although pursuant to the Dublin Regulation the migrant needs to seek asylum in the first country he arrives in, still the EU countries have given up on this convention; a clear tip to proceed with the journey further inland in Europe. It also informs that economic migrants will not be granted the asylum; again a clear hint at what to say in order to be qualified. And it provides the timetable for ferries and ships complete with the price of the fare. There is also information on the geography of Athens, addresses of aid organizations and a short list of useful phrases in Greek.

The Americans from MOAS ferry migrants to Europe

Refugees boat floating on the sea
Photo: Shutterstock/Alexyz3d

MOAS stands for Migrant Offshore Aid Station. It is a Malta-based non-governmental organisation, which set itself the task of patrolling the Mediterranean and rescuing people in high seas, lifting them up from dinghies, rafts and boats onto the Phoenix, the MOAS-owned trawler, a vessel complete with drones for scanning the waters, and ferrying migrants from places several miles off the Libyan shore to Sicily. The organisation is run by Chris Catrambone (35) and his wife Regina.

Kosovo Police: „We uncovered terror plans“. Assets of self-declared imams seized

UCK – KLA killer swadron

The Kosovo police seized the explosive that would be used during the Albania-Israel match five days before the terror act.

Child Killer: Lavdrim Muhaxheri  made by USA
Terrorist Promotion: Bondsteel – Kosovo
Einzige US und Deutsche Aussenpolitik
18 Nov 16

Lavdrim Muhaxheri, ISIS Warrior, Remains Threat to Kosovo

Lavdrim Muhaxheri, commander of Albanian ISIS fighters, has been named a serious threat for Kosovo once again after 19 suspected terrorists were arrested within days.

Die Morina BIRN Pristina

Ridvan Haqifi (left) and Lavdrim Muhaxheri (right), two ISIS Kosovo Albanian commanders. | Photo: ISIS propaganda video

Lavdrim Muhaxheri, the Kosovo Albanian foreign fighter for ISIS operating in Syria and Iraq,  re-appeared as a serious threat to Kosovo last week after the police there arrested 19 people suspected of planning terrorist attacks in Kosovo and Albania.

The arrested suspects were all being coordinated by Lavdim Muhaxheri and fellow ISIS warrior Ridvan Haqifi, police said.

Muhaxheri made international headlines in July 2014 after uploading graphic photos of himself beheading a young man on Facebook.

On 24 September 2014, the US State Department of State added Muhaxheri to its list of global terrorists.

Also known as Ebu Abdullah el Albani, Abu Abdullah al Kosova, Abu Abdallah al-Kosovi and Abu Abdallah al-Kosovo, he was described as a threat to US national security and blacklisted from the US. 

Originally, from Kacanik in Kosovo, a town near the border with Macedonia, Muhaxheri was reported killed in 2014, but this was denounced on social media by a man claiming he was Muhaxheri’s friend.

The arrests of 18 Kosovo Albanians and one citizen of Macedonia were carried out between November 4 and 16, the police said.

They did not give details about their identities except that the arrests were carried out in Pristina, Mitrovica, Ferizaj/Urosevac, Kacanik and Vitia/Vitina.

“These persons were planning terrorist acts in Kosovo and [in Albania] against the Israeli football team and their fans who participated in the Albania-Israel match,” Kosovo police said in a statement.

However, Kosovo Interior Ministry officials told BIRN that the police took all measures deemed necessary to guarantee security, and the security situation remained stable.

Police said they prevented the attacks in cooperation with the Kosovo Intelligence Agency, AKI, and the Kosovo Special Prosecution, as well as authorities in Macedonia and Albania.

According to the prosecution, their targets were international and security institutions, aiming to intimidate the population, destabilize the country and destroy the fundamental political, constitutional, economic and social order in order to establish an „Islamic State“.

Media reports have mentioned Kosovo government institutions and Serbian Orthodox Church sites as possible Islamist targets.

Daut Hoxha, spokesperson of the Kosovo Police, told BIRN only that the authorities are working continuously with great vigilance but could not give other details.

During the arrests, substantial explosives, including 281 grams of TATP, 2.5 kg of other explosive substance, as well as personal weapons and radio-communication devices were found.

As high-ranking members of ISIS in charge of Kosovo and Albanian fighters in the Middle East, Muhaxheri and Haqifi have both threatened Kosovo and Albania via video because of their governments‘ adherence to the international coalition against ISIS.

Reports say around 300 Kosovo Albanians have joined ISIS since the beginning of the conflict in Syria in 2011.

Defense & Foreign Affairs Daily | Mar.17,2004 | Gregory R. Copley,

USA IS Terrorist
Defense & Foreign Affairs Daily
Volume XXII, No. 50 Friday, March 19, 2004
 2004, Global Information System, ISSA
Exclusive Special Report
During the first half of August 2003, 300 Albanian-trained guerillas
 including appr. 10 mujahedin (non-Balkan Muslims)  were
infiltrated across the Albanian border into Kosovo, where many have
subsequently been seen in the company (and homes) of members of the
so-called Kosovo Protection Corps which was created out of Kosovo
Albanian elements originally part of the KLA. In fact, the Kosovo
Protection Force seems almost synonymous with the Albanian National
Army (ANA), the new designation for the KLA. The guerillas were
trained in three camps inside the Albanian border at the towns of
Bajram Curi, Tropoja and Kuks, where the camps have been in operation
since 1997………

Daut Haradinaj: UCK Terrorist and murder troup

Beg Rizaj: US-Kosovo Terrorist

US Pass: Beg Rizaj

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

On Pins and Needles: Trump’s Victory Risks Becoming the ‚End of Kosovo Project‘

Sputnik News

Donald Trump’s victory in the US presidential election has become a headache fot the government of Kosovo. Pristina fears that Trump will revise Washington’s policy towards the self-proclaimed nation. Donald Trump © AP Photo/ Jae C. Hong These are Reasons Why Trump’s Presidency is an ‚Optimal Scenario‘ for Europe The self-proclaimed Republic of Kosovo has two major foreign policy goals for the next year, including receiving an observer status in the United Nations and taking normalization talks with Serbia to the presidential level. Pristina came up with this scenario at the time when its government was sure that Hillary Clinton would secure a victory in the United States presidential election. Donald Trump’s victory in the US is a big concern for the government of Kosovo, journalist Brankica Ristic wrote for Sputnik Serbia. Pristina congratulated Trump on his victory and also thanked Hillary Clinton for „everything she did for Kosovo.“

At the same time, the government hopes that during Trump’s presidency Washington’s policy towards Kosovo will stay the same. „Trump is a businessman. He will definitely wonder whether Kosovo is worth the money the US has invested in it. Moreover, Washington has invested billions of dollars not in the economy or industrial development, but to support Kosovo as a political project,“ the author wrote. As a political entity, Kosovo will not survive without American support. This is why Pristina was shocked by Trump’s victory. „There is chaos now in the government of Kosovo because it is unclear what Trump’s foreign policy strategy will be, including towards Kosovo. Pristina may lose its main ally. Trump’s victory has disturbed Kosovo’s plans for the next year and forced Pristina to intensify its foreign policy efforts during the transitional period in the US.
Time is running out, and Kosovo has two scenarios,“ the article read. A Kosovo Albanian man sells flags in Pristina on February 16, 2011 in preparation for the third anniversary of Kosovo’s declaration of independence © AFP 2016/ ARMEND NIMANI West’s Recognition of Kosovo ‚Thanks to Albania’s Washington Lobbyists‘ First, local media reported that the government of Kosovo, including President Hashim Tachi, has sent lobbyists to Washington, in a bid to convince Trump’s team that Kosovo should be one of America’s priorities in the Balkans. Second, Pristina has a „plan B“ related to the European Union and allies of the outgoing Obama administration.
„The plan is simple. If Kosovo fails to gain support from Trump’s administration, it will turn to Brussels for help. Media reported that Tachi has already had private talks with Johannes Hahn, Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations. Tachi and Hahn discussed how to accelerate granting Kosovo EU candidate status,“ the article read. Serbian Progressive Party supporters hold Serbian flag during a pre-election rally in Belgrade, Serbia, Thursday, April 21, 2016 © AP Photo/ Darko Vojinovic When, If Ever, Will Serbia Finally Make a Geopolitical Pivot to Russia? In the EU, supporters of Kosovo will pressure Belgrade, demanding additional conditions for Serbia’s accession to the bloc.
One of those conditions could be a demand that Belgrade stop insisting that Kosovo is Serbia. This scenario was earlier predicted by Marko Duric, director of the Office for Kosovo and Metohija, in the Serbian government. According to him, conditions for Serbia’s accession could be tightened to pressure Belgrade to recognize Kosovo’s independence. However, Vladislav Jovanovic, who served as Foreign Minister of Yugoslavia, suggested that Brussels could use „soft“ political tools and diplomacy, instead of mounting pressure on Belgrade.
„Thus, Serbian national interests will be taken into account by other players. The next US president is a pragmatic businessman. He is interested in maintaining America’s dominance not by wars, but other means,“ he told local media. According to the diplomat, Trump will not favor the absurd policy of interventionism and will not turn America’s friends into foes. Last month, some officials in Kosovo expressed concerns that Trump’s victory would be a catastrophe for Albania and Kosovo. „Trump’s victory might end the US policy which has favored Albania and Kosovo at the expense of Serbia’s interests. During Trump’s presidency, US support for Kosovo will decrease, and Washington will not ignore Serbia’s interests in Kosovo,“ Jovanovic suggested.

Investigators say that the four suspects for terrorism who were arrested in Albania, were supposed to receive and guide other persons who had planned to travel from Kosovo and Macedonia to realize the attack at the Loro Borici stadium in Shkoder.

Two years ago, nine people and self-declared imams were arrested as terror suspects at the Unaza e Re mosque, but the Albanian Muslim Community doesn’t control it yet.

Izebegovic Bande verhaftet: Ex-Innenminister Alija Delimustafic

Bosnia and Herzegovina: Former Interior Minister Detained

Bosnia and Herzegovina’s former wartime interior minister was among more than a dozen people detained over the weekend on allegations of being part of a group involved in crimes including real estate fraud and money laundering.

Alija DelimustafićFederation of Bosnia and Herzegovina police (Photo: Alija Delimustafic, who served during the country’s 1992-1995 war, was detained on Friday and remanded for 30 days along with four other people. Another eight people who were detained and released over the weekend were placed under judicial supervision and a ninth surrendered himself on Monday.

Prosecutors also announced that two more people were wanted over the case, including a former judge at Sarajevo’s Municipal Court, Lejla Fazlagic.

Authorities allege that Delimustafic was the leader of a criminal group that included lawyers and municipal clerks. The group is alleged to have committed property fraud through illegal zoning in central Sarajevo, as well having court rulings issued that allowed them to take control of and resell abandoned properties via the use of proxy companies.

Former judge Fazlagic is suspected of having issued rulings transferring the ownership of some 70 abandoned properties, whose true owners were either dead or out of the country. She is believed to have fled to Croatia.

Prosecutors also say members of the group defrauded local bank Hypo Bank of 2 million marks (US$ 1.1 million).

Police said they found a plane ticket to Thailand and a passport under the name Sadik Salukija when they detained Delimustafic on Friday.

Delimustafic’s lawyer, Senad Pizovic, said prosecutors had illegally obtained wiretaps and lacked sufficient evidence to prove the former interior minister was the head of a criminal group.

Delimustafic served two years in prison for the 1996 kidnapping of a man who was reportedly a romantic rival. He was pardoned in 2005 by the president of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, one of two semi-autonomous entities that make up the country.

Rumänische Wahlkampf Leiterin verhaftet: Ana Maria Patru, welche hohe Bestechungs Summen erhielt

Home / SOCIETY & PEOPLE / LAW & CRIME / Update: Corruption charges against the Permanent Electoral Authority, the institution’s head Ana Maria Patru remanded

Update: Corruption charges against the Permanent Electoral Authority, the institution’s head Ana Maria Patru remanded

National Anticorruption Directorate (DNA) Ploiesti prosecutors have conducted searches on Tuesday at the residence of the Permanent Electoral Authority (AEP) President Ana Maria Patru and at the institution, in a file investigating crimes of influence peddling and money laundering, judicial sources have said.

Ana Maria Patru was taken from her place in Voluntari to hearings at DNA Ploiesti and later in the evening she was placed under remand by the DNA.

Judicial sources said the searches are related to elections of the last election cycles, targeting mainly the elections in 2009. In 2009, Traian Basescu won a second term as president of Romania.

“In the morning of November 15, 2016, following authorization by the competent court, searches have been conducted in four locations in Bucharest and Ilfov and Valcea counties, in which a location is a public institution, the rest are residences of individuals,” DNA informs.

The deeds in question were committed during 2008 -2015.

AEP President’s husband has tried to flee with relevant documents for the DNA investigators, being stopped by policemen, sources quoted by Agerpres say. The documents are reportedly relevant for the investigation regarding the money circuit.

President Iohannis: The DNA investigation on AEP head – an unpleasant surprise. If prosecuted, she must be replaced

President Klaus Iohannis has said on Tuesday that the DNA investigation regarding the AEP head Ana Maria Patru is a very unpleasant surprise, adding that if prosecution is commenced she should be replaced from office.

“I don’t believe they (the elections results – our note) will be questioned and I don’t believe the way the institution functions will be fundamentally affected. It is a serious institution, it works for years in the elections issues and I am convinced it will do its job further on. The DNA investigation against the institution is a very, very unpleasant surprise,” the head of state said at Cotroceni Palace.

“It all depends on what the DNA will inform. For the time being I’ve learned the first checks have been conduced today. If prosecution is started, then certainly that person should be replaced,” Iohannis said, adding that he knows no details on the case.

Regarding the participation of PEA President, Mrs. Ana Maria Patru in the A-WEB election observation mission, to assess the implementation of new voting and ballot counting thechnologies, held in Kyrgystan

smart1  smart2  smart3
Mrs. Ana Maria Pcitru, the President of the Permanent Electoral Authority of Romania is leading, the A-WEB observation and evaluation mission regarding the implementation of new voting and ballot counting technologies during parliamentary elections in Kyrgyz Republic, event held on 4th of October 2015.

The mission is held between 1st – 6th October 2015, inside the „Election Visitor Program”, initiated by A-WEB and focuses on knowledge and experience exchange in electoral field between A-WEB member states.

Ensuring free and democratic elections is part of the National Strategy for Sustainable Development of the Kyrgyz Republic and it represents the ground bases of the Kyrgyz Government’s decision to use these thechnologies in the electoral process.

For enrolling voters using biometric thechnology and for developing the electronic vote counting system, the Central Election Commision of the Republic of Kyrgystan signed a Memorandum of Understanding with A-WEB, benefiting thus, from technical assistance from the Association.
Regarding these elections, one of the main A-WEB objectives is to evaluate if the introduction of the voters enrolling system, using biometric technology and the implementation of the electronic ballot counting system are likely to increase eficiency, transparency and accountability in elections.

„This project will prove how IT solutions, correctly evaluated and implemented may encrease confidence in electoral processes and consolidate democracy” said Mrs. Ana Maria Patru at the official opening of the A-WEB mission in Kyrgystan.
Romania is a member of A-WEB since 2013 and will take over the Presidency of the Association in 2017 through the PEA President, Mrs. Ana Maria Patru.

Ea e MILIONARA care a TURNAT-O pe Ana Maria Pătru la DNA

Autor: Cristi Teodorescu
Irina Socol, patroana firmei Siveco, este cea care a denunțat-o la DNA pe Ana Maria Pătru, președintele Autorității Electorale Permanente. Socol a fost deja condamnată într-un dosar și are mai multe pe rol şi ar fi încercat astfel să-şi negocieze pedepse cu suspendare.

Irina Socol s-a întâlnit duminică cu Ana Maria Pătru având tehnică de interceptare asupra sa. Discuţia ar fi avut loc într-o cafenea timp de 2 ore, timp în care Socol i-a amintit lui Pătru despre discuţiile din trecut privind contractele. Se pare că această discuţie ar fi devenit o probă pentru DNA, anunță flux24.roPătru a fost reţinută marţi seară de DNA. Procurorii DNA Ploieşti au dispus efectuarea urmăririi penale faţă de preşedintele Autorităţii Electorale Permanente (AEP), Ana Maria Pătru, la data faptei vicepreşedinte al instituţiei – funcţie cu rang de secretar de stat, pentru trei infracţiuni de trafic de influenţă şi două infracţiuni de spălare a banilor.

Potrivit unui comunicat de presă transmis, marţi seară, de DNA, în perioada aprilie-iunie 2008, suspecta Ana Maria Pătru, în calitate de vicepreşedinte al AEP, a pretins, iar în anul 2009 a şi primit de la reprezentanţii unei societăţi comerciale, suma de 210.000 euro, reprezentând contravaloarea unui anumit imobil situat în municipiul Bucureşti.

Anchetatorii spun că, în schimbul primirii acestui bun, Pătru a promis că va susţine derularea în bune condiţii a unui contract încheiat de acea societate cu AEP, precum şi că va susţine firma să obţină şi să deruleze contracte viitoare, fapt care s-a şi realizat.

Obama reist nach Athen: 5 hochrangige Griechische Berater wird Donald Trump haben

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New Trump Chief of Staff Reince Priebus: “I am Proud to be Greek, It is a Blessing from God to be Greek”


Debates have broken out on various Facebook pages (including our own) about the Greekness of the new Chief of Staff of President-elect Donald Trump who will be assuming one of the most powerful positions in the world come January 21, 2017.

Reince Priebus was born to a father with German ancestry and a mother who was born in Sudan, to Greek parents. Her family hailed from the Greek island of Lesvos and Priebus himself has commented about “half of his family living in Greece.”

Priebus himself mentions his Greek ancestry prominently on his official bio on the Republican National Committee website where he served as chairman of the party since 2011.

Priebus had humble roots and often used his own family’s story as a counter to criticism that being a Republican in some way always equated to having money. That’s an idea Priebus has always rejected.
“I don’t come from a family like that. My dad’s an electrician; my mom was born in Sudan. Half my family lived in Greece. I think what we believe is that everybody should have an opportunity to make good money, and we want people to do well,” Priebus said in an interview with Hellenext.

In that same interview, he shared the story of how his mother and father met.

“Back in the ’60s, northern Africa — as I understood it and as it was explained to me — was sort of the new frontier of southern Europe. So there were a lot of Italians and Greeks and Spanish that lived in northern Africa in the ’60s. My mother was 19 or 20 when she met my dad, and she had lived in Khartoum her entire life. She worked at the American Embassy in Sudan. My dad was in the Army in Ethiopia because the United States had an Army base in, I think it was Eritrea. And then he met my mom when she was in Khartoum.”

Priebus was baptized and raised by his family as a Greek Orthodox Christian.

During an interview with CNN back in April, Priebus noted that the three things he has in his office “that are critical in getting through the day” are the Greek Orthodox liturgy, the Republican Party platform, and the Milwaukee Brewers’ schedule.

Priebus is also a member of the Archons, a lay group of Orthodox Christian men who have devoted service to the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople.

On being Greek, in his own words, he said in the Hellenext interview that “I am proud to be Greek, it is a blessing from God to be Greek.”

Cover photo from Archons’ website.

Trump names Greek American Priebus White House chief of staff

November 13, 2016

Trump names Greek American Priebus White House chief of staff

WASHINGTON (AP) — Donald Trump named Greek American Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus his White House chief of staff, elevating one of his loyal GOP advisers with a deep expertise of the Washington establishment Trump has vowed to shake up.

Priebus, a close ally of House Speaker Paul Ryan, called the appointment “an honor” and predicted the billionaire “will be a great president for all Americans.”
Trump also named Stephen Bannon, his campaign CEO and executive on leave from conservative website Breitbart, to be the president-elect’s chief strategist and senior counsel.
With Vice President-elect Mike Pence as transition chief, the trio was expected to organize the incoming administration, according to a statement from the Trump camp.
There was much to steady. The appointments came after a day in which Trump’s tough-talking plan to rein in illegal immigration showed signs Sunday of cracking, with the president-elect backing off his vow to build a solid wall along the southern U.S. border and Ryan rejecting any “deportation force” targeting people living in the country illegally.
After Trump told CBS’ “60 Minutes” that his border wall might look more like a fence in spots, the combative billionaire took to Twitter to settle some scores.
During a four-hour spree, Trump savaged the New York Times and gloated about the GOP stalwarts lining up to congratulate him, bragging that staunch critics and GOP rivals John Kasich, Mitt Romney and Jeb Bush had sent attaboys. Former presidents George W. and George H.W. Bush also had sent their “best wishes on the win. Very nice!” The New York Times, Trump wrote to his 14 million followers, is “dishonest” and “highly inaccurate.”
As Trump revenge-tweeted, threats flew between power brokers, and protests across the country continued.
The president-elect retreated from the campaign promise that had inspired his supporters chant “Build the wall!” at Trump’s massive campaign rallies.
Would he accept a fence in some spots on the border? In an interview to be aired Sunday, Trump told “60 Minutes”: “For certain areas, I would, but certain areas, a wall is more appropriate. There could be some fencing.”
Excerpts of the interview were released in advance.
Trump also had vowed to immediately deport all 11 million people in the country illegally. But in the interview, he said he’s focusing first on ousting or incarcerating 2 million to 3 million “that are criminals and have criminal records, gang members, drug dealers.” Trump emphasized that securing the border is his very first immigration priority.
On that, Ryan agreed. But on CNN’s “State of the Union,” Ryan rejected the kind of “mass deportations” Trump had championed during the campaign.
“We are not planning on erecting a deportation force,” he said.
More tension emerged Sunday when Trump’s campaign manager, Kellyanne Conway, said Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid should be careful in a “legal sense” about characterizing Trump as a sexual predator. When asked whether Trump was threatening to sue Reid, Conway said no.
But Adam Jentleson, Reid’s deputy chief of staff, said Trump is “hiding behind his Twitter account and sending his staff on TV to threaten his critics.”
Meanwhile, another Trump aide — Rudy Giuliani — suggested that the president-elect should have a “blind trust” to run his global empire to avoid potential conflicts of interest. But he said three of Trump’s adult children should probably have a hand in that trust.
“There’s no perfect way to do this,” he told CNN’s “State of the Union.” ”You have to have some confidence in the integrity of the president.
Also on Sunday, Republicans backed off decades of investigating Clinton. House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy said on “Fox News Sunday” that GOP-led congressional Republicans will focus on policy and leave any probes of Clinton to law enforcement.
Ryan, meanwhile, tried to calm the nation by suggesting that “people should just really put their minds at ease, we are pluralistic, we’re inclusive.” Acts of hate, he said, had nothing to do with the GOP.
“People who espouse those views, they’re not Republicans and we don’t want them in our party even if they’re thinking about it. And I’m confident Donald Trump feels the same way,” the Wisconsin Republican said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”
But at least on Sunday, Trump seemed to prefer to relish his election win.
At one point, he noted that Gov. Kasich, who refused to endorse him, “of the GREAT, GREAT, GREAT STATE OF Ohio called to congratulate me on the win.” Trump pointedly did not return the congratulations or offer thanks to Kasich. “The people of Ohio were incredible!” he tweeted.
He later attributed his win to his performance in the presidential debates against Democrat Hillary Clinton.
“The debates, especially the second and third, plus speeches and intensity of the large rallies, plus OUR GREAT SUPPORTERS, gave us the win!”