The Albanian Road Authority has found violations in the documents submitted by the economic operator “Gjoka Construction” during the procurement procedures for the construction of the Kardhiqi Tunnel.
The company has submitted documents which are said to prove their experience for similar work, however it is suspected that these documents have been manipulated and submitted under false pretenses.
The Albanian Road Authority has also noticed irregularities in the Arbëri Highway during a recent inspection.
They assert that whilst certain aspects of the project have been declared as completed, the reality depicts something quite different.
Given this, the Albanian Road Authority has addressed the public procurement agency with a request to launch an investigation against the construction company.
However, the company responded by saying that all these accusations are linked to the decision to cancel the tender for the construction of the 7th section of the Kardhiq-Delvinë Road.
“There are more than 4.2 million euros being taken illegally to build public infrastructure, given that the company determined the road could be built at a cost 4.2 million euro less than the winning tender. It seems there are corrupt interests at play here.
“However, we cannot decide whether this is true or not. The prosecution must investigate the case and allow a judge to make that decision.
“We have submitted to the prosecution documentary evidence that leads to our conviction that penal offense has occurred,” stated the company's legal representation.
Gjoka Construction won the tender for the construction of the "Arbëri Highway" valued at 225 million euros.
As for the Kardhiq-Delvina road, the tender was recently and abruptly canceled by Minister Belinda Balluku.
Through a letter dated 30th August, 2019, Balluku claims that the funds will instead be allocated to "important projects", an argument that bears little logic given the Kardhiq-Delvinë Road was presented as one of the top 5 most strategic projects by the government and offers significant benefits for the tourism industry as it would cut down travel times from Tirana to Saranda by 3 hours.
Furthermore, the cancellation has occurred at a time when 60 percent of the work has already been completed.
The indicators point to the idea that the construction companies are placing significant pressure on Ministry during the periods procurement procedures are occurring.