Ex-Albanian official arrested on corruption charges

The former head of the prison service in Albania, Arben Cuko, was arrested on suspicion of corruption, according to a statement released on Sunday.

Cuko was prisons chief for over a year before being fired in September. Prior to which he had also worked as head of the National Guard.

A tweet from the Prime Minister, Edi Rama, said he was “sorry for A. Cuko but for us there is no double standard when referring to the law.”

Police announced another arrest on Sunday concerning falsifying documents for public land sales, with Arben Ndoka, a former Socialist politician, suspected of involvement.

More than two dozen people have been arrested in connection with the case so far, following a high profile investigation by the Serious Crime Prosecutor’s Office. The land is suspected of being ‘flipped’, bought at low cost using fictitious entities and then sold on at high prices for development as tourist areas.

No comment from either suspect has been released thus far.

If Albania is to have any hope of progressing its aim to be admitted into the EU as a full member it will need to make significant improvements in the elimination of corruption, a crime that is increasingly undermining the EU’s desire to be a bastion of transparency, propriety and the rule of law.

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