Erion Veliaj’s tightrope: Navigating allegations of deep-rooted corruption in Tirana’s governance


In a revelation that threatens to shake the foundations of Tirana’s municipal governance, allegations have surfaced implicating close associates of Mayor Erion Veliaj in a corruption scheme unprecedented in scale in Albania’s recent history. The scandal centers around the company “5D Konstruktion,” which is accused of siphoning off municipal funds through rigged tenders—a method of corruption that eschews the traditional backdoor dealings and direct bribes that have plagued Albanian politics for the last three decades.

The case, as unearthed by the Special Structure against Corruption and Organized Crime (SPAK), has led to the arrest of Veliaj’s erstwhile confidants: Mariglen Qato, the former director of the Urban Planning Institute; Redi Molla, the former director of the Water Supply Service; and Taulant Tushe, the former planning director. These individuals, through their influence within the municipal framework, are accused of diverting a significant number of tenders to “5D Konstruktion,” effectively bypassing legitimate business processes and funneling public funds directly into their pockets.

This intricate web of corruption was further exposed through intercepted communications from Jonida Bejko, an employee of “5D Konstruktion,” who inadvertently revealed the company’s true ownership and its ties to Mayor Veliaj himself. The colloquial reference to Veliaj as the ultimate beneficiary of this elaborate scheme—coupled with the meticulous documentation of transactions and tender processes within SPAK’s investigative dossier—paints a damning picture of systemic exploitation of public resources.

Over the span of four years, from 2016 to 2020, “5D Konstruktion” allegedly secured 23 lucrative tenders, funneling hundreds of millions of Albanian lekë into the coffers of those in control. This operation not only underscores the audacity of those involved but also highlights a profound disrespect for the citizens of Tirana, whose taxes were diverted from public infrastructure and services into the hands of a corrupt few.

Personal notebooks belonging to Nestor Muhametllari, identified as the mastermind behind “5D Konstruktion,” reveal the meticulous division of the spoils among the municipal directors involved. These documents, reminiscent of a crime syndicate’s ledger, underscore the premeditated nature of this grand larceny.

Further investigation reveals how deeply entrenched this scheme was within the municipality’s operations. Deborah Keçi, the head of a municipal institution, was recorded coordinating with Muhametllari to ensure the flow of funds to “5D Konstruktion,” highlighting the systemic manipulation of tender processes to benefit this shadowy entity.

Despite the overwhelming evidence and the systemic nature of this corruption, SPAK’s investigation conspicuously stops short of implicating Mayor Veliaj directly, leaving a critical question unanswered: Is Erion Veliaj the real owner of “5D Konstruktion,” or have his directors operated a massive fraud right under his nose without his knowledge?

This scandal not only sheds light on the mechanisms of corruption within Tirana’s municipal government but also challenges the integrity of Albania’s fight against corruption. As citizens demand accountability, the implications of this case extend far beyond the confines of Tirana, striking at the heart of public trust in government institutions across Albania.

Artikulli i mëparshëmSKANDALI/ A është Erion Veliaj “pronari” i vërtetë i kompanisë “5D”?
Artikulli i radhësJamarbër Malltezi i dërgon një tjetër letër të hapur SPAK-ut. Akuza Dumanit se po përdoret politikisht nga Balla dhe Rama