US registered firm forged paperwork to win two public tenders in Albania

Washington DC | 10 Jan 2019 (Tirana Echo) – US authorities have officially certified that the paperwork presented by Delaware registered Dunwell Haberman in order to win a segment of the Tirana Ring Road construction was forged.

Details of deliberate forging of official documents were confirmed today by Albania’s Minister for Infrastructure Damian Gjiknuri, who failed to take responsibility for the corruptive scandal which has crippled work at the ring road.

After getting confirmation from the United States, the Albanian Road Authority (ARSH) has terminated the contract in question and will start the procedures for blocking the financial guarantee standing at the value of 10% of the contract. Similar procedures have been applied by the National Transmission Operator (OST). US materials will be referred to the Prosecutor’s Office which has already opened an investigation into falsification of official documents by DH Albania,” said Minister Gjiknuri, adding that he encourages prosecutors to fully investigate the affair until culprits are found out.

Dunwell Haberman managed to win two public tenders in Albania through its locally registered subsidiary DH Albania – the construction of a massively expensive overpass as part of the Tirana Ring Road project worth €18m Euros and the construction of an electricity high power line between Burrel and Peshkopia worth €11,7m Euros.

The affairs were uncovered by local media following opposition allegations that the company had managed to win two major public tenders worth €30 million Euros, having been registered only last July under the name of a relatively unknown young man from the southern city of Vlora.

Following the winning contracts from the Albanian government, Avdjol Dobi, 26, moved its offices to the luxurious ABA Business Center in Tirana, continuing to act on behalf of the ‘shady’ US registered firm Dunwell Habermann.

Asked to produce proof of its mother company, the Tirana based company supplied local media with business certificates showing that Dh had been operative in the US since 1998. However, authorities of Delaware where DH is registered, confirmed the mother company had also been registered in 2018, and that documents produced for the Albanian media are a misrepresentation of original documents, and that the stamp and signature of the State of Delaware had been forged.

Investigations have been initiated both in the US and in Albania to look into who operates behind Dunwell Haberman, however, the Albanian Service of Voice of America has alleged that renowned businessman Bashkim Ulaj is behind both companies.  

But Minister Gjiknuri said that Albanian institutions have shown they have acted in accordance with the law.

The steps followed by ARSH during the tendering procedure have been in accordance with legislation in force for public procurement. Even the bid submitted by the company in question, electronically, was in compliance with the requirements of the tender documents that the legislation recognizes. The applicable legislation does not require verification of bidders’ information, except for specific cases, when there are reasonable doubts about false data,” said Gjiknuri, adding “and we will take our ownresponsibilities. Anyone who may be involved, will definitely be punished according to the law. “

Mr. Gjiknuri said he had today proposed amendments to the legal and sub-legal acts of the Law on Public Prosecutions.

I have proposed to be clearly sanctioned in the law, the obligation that the winning bidder be verified in any case the information that you declare before the conclusion of the contract. The proposal was officially addressed to the Public Procurement Agency, to initiate these legal changes. This will be the case in the future for the prevention of similar situations and will make the authorities more cautious in verifying the information before entering into a contract.” Said Albania’s Minister for Infrastructure.

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