US Bans Albanian MP for Alleged Corruption

Tom Doshi. Photo: LSA

The State Department announced on Monday that businessman and politician Tom Doshi, one of the wealthiest MPs in the Albanian parliament, has been barred from entering the US, along with his immediate family.

The State Department alleged in a statement that Doshi's ban was "due to his involvement in significant corruption".

Doshi denied the allegation and challenged the US "to prove the allegation of corruption" against him. He claimed that any charges would be dismissed by the courts.

He is the second known foreign official publicly designated under Section 7031(c) of the 2017 Consolidated Appropriations Act, which includes measures to fight Russian influence as well as corruption.

The first foreign official to be publicly designated was also an Albanian - former General Prosecutor Adriatik Llalla, who was barred in February.

"Section 7031(c) provides that, in cases where the Secretary of State has credible information that foreign officials have been involved in significant corruption or gross violations of human rights, those individuals and their immediate family members are ineligible for entry into the United States," the State Department said in a press release.

The public designation of foreign corrupt officials is a new practice for the US government.

The US ambassador to Tirana, Donald Lu, told Albanian media recently that "Llalla was the first one in the world" to receive such treatment.

Doshi, 52, downplayed the significance of the decision as a question of "whether you get a US visa or not".

He was elected to parliament on a Socialist Party ticket in 2005, 2009 and 2013. However, in 2015, he was expelled from the party after accusing then speaker of parliament Ilir Meta of plotting to kill him.


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