After Albania, Rama and his oligarchs “invade” Montenegro, Kastrati takes the airports – The affair with Abazović is revealed
In the last two weeks, the government of Montenegro has significantly intensified its campaign for the necessity of concessioning Montenegrin airports and why it will do this, there is no reason. The intention of the government and Prime Minister Dritan Abazovic is to first grant a concession to the Tivar airport and then the Podgoriva airport.
And who will be given the concession is the question? The controversial Albanian businessman, Shefqet Kastrati, the owner of the company “Kastrati Group”, reports the Montenegrin portal M.
Kastrati is one of the most loyal collaborators of Prime Minister Edi Rama. Thanks to the close ties with Rama, his company wins hundreds of tenders of the Albanian government as well as local governments in the neighboring country, through which it earns hundreds of millions of euros.
Kastrati has visited Montenegro several times in recent months, the last time about 10 days ago, while the next visit is planned for the days before or after the signing of the Agreement with the Church of Serbia. Then the negotiations for the airport will be finalized, as the authorities have estimated that it will be a time of increased tensions due to the contract and that no one will pay much attention to the economic issues, no matter how big they are.
It was Rama who connected Abazovic with Kastrati, the biggest oil trader in Albania and for two years the owner of the only international airport in Albania “Mother Teresa”. Kastrati would be solely responsible for all his future affairs in Montenegro to both of them, and his plans are big.
Meeting of the Board of Directors of the Airport of Montenegro, possible dismissal of Goran Jandreoski. In order to implement the agreement with Kastrati regarding the airport concessions, the Government of Abazovic in the session of July 8 dismissed the previous Board of Directors of the Public Enterprise Aeroportet e Malit e Mali and appointed a new composition, headed by Eldin Dobarzic, a member of the party of Abazovic. Other new members of the Board of Directors are Kemal Purisic (Bosnian Party), Slavko Vukcevic (SNP), Momcilo Martinovic (DPS) and Nebojsa Gjokovic (DF).
The board of directors will meet today at 11:00 a.m. and, according to information from the M portal, the agenda may also include the initiation of procedures for the dismissal of the executive director of GSHQ, Goran Jandreoski.
The plan is to replace him with an executive director who will be more “obedient” than Jandreoski, a man with extensive experience in civil aviation, who did not want to fulfill the political wishes of the previous Board of Directors, so silent conflict has been ongoing since his election. The government needs a reliable person for that position, who will cooperate closely with them and with Shefqet Kastrati, in the process of granting the airport with a concession.
The plan of Rama and Abazovic is to invest as much Albanian capital as possible in Montenegro and therefore their insistence on the Open Balkan process, because through its mechanisms it would be much easier to put it into practice. Albanian businessmen would invest their capital in Montenegro through the “Kastrati Group”.
What did Abazovic promise Kastrati?
According to reliable sources of the M portal, Abazovic during the meeting promised Kastrati that along with the airport concession, he will provide locations and permits for the construction of gas stations in Montenegro, which is Kastrati’s primary business in Albania as well. The Montenegrin Prime Minister promised the Albanian businessman direct communication with the Minister of Ecology, Spatial Planning and Urbanism, Ana Novaković Gjurović, whose task is to secure locations and permits for the construction of pumps, as well as with the Minister of Economic Development and Tourism, Goran Gjurović. which would help with oil import permits.
Abazovic has connected Kastrati with the chairman of the Management Board of the Public Enterprise Morsko dobro, Blazo Ragjenovic, who together with the businessman will visit several locations in the area of Morsko dobro, to see where the tourist complexes can be built.
According to the broader plan, Kastrati would direct part of the investment in Montenegro to the development of the media, to start with a radio and television station and a portal, which would inform the citizens in the Montenegrin and Albanian languages. Kastrati tried to do a similar thing a few months ago in Albania, offering to buy 60% of the ownership in “Euronews Albania” television, which is part of the European media network. However, a few weeks ago, Kastrati withdrew his offer without giving an explanation.
An important role in this affair is played by Abazovic’s friend and inspector general of the National Security Agency, Artan Kurti, who has been sentenced twice to imprisonment, for attempted murder and for serious bodily injury. Kurti has already met twice with Shefqet Kastrati and his task in this business will be to ensure police logistics and security structures so that Kastrati can expand his business without obstacles in all parts of Montenegro.
Who is Shefqet Kastrati?
Shefqet Kastrati, otherwise known as “Çeti”, started his career in the 90s of the last century as a truck driver. Today, with the help of Edi Rama, he has received key Albanian resources, from oil, insurance, the only international airport, roads, constructions, military assets, state tenders, etc. “Ceti” even “monopolized the money laundering of the main criminal groups in Albania.”
“Shefqet Kastrati, according to some reports, is afraid of Lulzim Basha and Edi Rama, the main link between the heads of the criminal groups involved in drug trafficking in Albania”, says just one of a series of articles in the Albanian media related to the affairs of Shefqet Kastrati.
According to Albanian and international reports, his construction companies are the biggest “launderers” of money from drugs, trafficking and other criminal activities in the Balkans.
Since the coming to power of Edi Rama, Kastrati has won over 600 state tenders, worth hundreds of millions of euros, through his companies dealing with oil trade and insurance. Only one of those companies received over 400 tenders, with a profit margin of up to 30%. Kastrati has won about 40 tenders in the Municipality of Durrës alone, where, according to the Albanian media, he is in close relations with Lulzim Berisha, the head of the so-called “dragon clan”.
The media call Kastrati “the king of corruption, ties to crime, money laundering, extortion of public goods” and accuse him of personal and business ties with the international drug trafficker Anton Gjinaj, otherwise known as Pashk Rapi, who was arrested in April 2021 at the border at the Bozhaj crossing, under international arrest for drug smuggling and is in prison in Spuz.
In addition to the citizens who accuse him of having sold them the most expensive fuel in the Balkans, the price of which is unknown, how much goes to the so-called “black funds”, Kstrati’s name is also mentioned in several cases of murder, kidnapping and blackmail. After the devastating earthquake in Albania in 2019, Shefqet Kastrati came under severe public criticism, because on the highway that he manages, he imposed fees for vehicles coming from Kosovo to distribute humanitarian aid to families who were left without shelter.
Prime Minister Rama then tried to defend him, but some sources claim that after learning that Kastrati received a tax, Rama called “Ceti”, shouted at him to immediately stop the fee and forced him to donate about 1.5 million euros for the recovery of the country after the earthquake.