Kosovo: High Officials of PIA arrested

Prishtina, 28 March 2008 – The Kosovo police arrested on Tuesday the managing director of the Prishtina International Airport (PIA) Afrim Aziri and the Chief of PIA’s Procurement Office, Vlora Ferizi. Both were accused of misusing their official duty.

In connection to this case, Petrol Company owner, Shkëlzen Jusaj was also arrested.

Investigations and arrests were made by the Kosovo Police Department for Economic Crimes and Corruption.

“The first suspect was arrested under the suspicion of misusing its official duty,” Kosovo Police spokesperson Veton Elshani is quoted as saying adding that the other official from the Airport was arrested under the suspicion that it has committed criminal offences.

Petrol Company owner, Shkëlzen Jusaj was arrested suspected for committing criminal offence of fraud and helping in criminal offences, Kosovo dailies report.

Three of Kosovo’s biggest public companies have come “top” in the corruption stakes, according to Prime Minister Hashim Thaçi, who few weeks ago called the Auditor Office for a thorough investigation by the relevant authorities.

The Prishtina International Airport, the Kosovo Energy Corporation (KEK), and the Post and Telecommunication of Kosovo (PTK), are all mired in financial irregularities, says the latest report by Kosovo’s auditor-general.

“The Airport, KEK and PTK need to be investigated by the competent authorities as soon as possible,” PM Thaçi was quoted as saying. He called the three companies “champions in corruption”.

Thaçi met in February with the Director of the Auditor Office, Linda Kasella, who presented a report that disclosed that many public enterprises were involved in a range of irregularities.

By stating that his government “will show zero tolerance towards crime and corruption,” Thaçi encouraged the auditor-general, to start investigations at the central government as well as at the municipal levels.