Albania Company 'Falsified US Links' to Win Road Contract

The General Prosecutor's Office in Tirana told BIRN on Friday it would probe allegations that a company had used false documents to win an 18-million-euro public works tender in Albania.

 The Albanian-registered company allegedly pretended to be a branch of a major US-based contractor to get the contract.

"The inhabitants [affected by the project] have filed charges about the case and prosecutors are verifying them," the official told BIRN.

Dunwell Haberman claimed to be registered in the US state of Delaware in 1998 and operated in Albania through a branch named DH Albania.

Albanian opposition politicians claimed in November that a "ghost" company had won the contract for a much-debated project that foresees enlarging a stretch of Tirana's outer ring road.

It also includes the demolition of several hundred houses without any compensation, or for below market prices.

The Road Authority, the public entity that procured the works, responded to the claim by saying that Dunwell Haberman was a major foreign company with about 3,500 employees across the globe.

However, on Thursday, Te Paekspozuarit, a TV show on News 24 channel, published a statement from Delaware Secretary of State Jeffrey Bullock who said the documents presenting Dunwell Haberman as a company registered in Delaware in 1998 were not genuine.

"I can state that the documents that you have provided are not genuine and did not originate from the office of the Delaware Secretary of State," his answer read.

Following this statement, the Albanian Road Authority has said it will suspend works on the contract pending further verification.

However, the head of the opposition Democratic Party, Lulzim Basha, said the Albanian Road Authority should be...

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