Almost four months after the publication of BIRN’s investigation into misuse and fraud in public procurement of a tender of over 150,000 euros in Gjilan, a person has been arrested by the Kosovo Police.
A suspect identified by the initials ‘A.K.’ has been detained for 48 hours by the Basic Prosecutor’s Office in Gjilan, in cooperation with the Kosovo Police, for the criminal offense of misuse and fraud in Public Procurement after allegedly winning a public tender with falsified documents.
According to the Prosecutor’s Office, A.K is suspected of falsifying an official document issued by the Defense Ministry, with which he applied for a public tender worth 155 thousand euros in 2021 – a tender which A.K won.
The detention was undertaken almost four months after an investigation of BIRN Kosovo/Kallxo was published.
What did the investigation highlight?
The investigation, published on December 6, 2022, highlighted how the company ARF L.L.C. managed to sign a contract of supply worth 155 thousand euros with the Municipality of Gjilan thanks to a document that was suspected of being falsified.
During the tendering phase, the company submitted a reference to the municipality supposedly issued by the Ministry of Defense that alleged successful execution of a contract during the time requested by the municipality.
Through this document, the company managed to fulfill one of the criteria certifying that they had successfully completed three contracts of a similar nature in the last three years.
The alleged erroneous document was claimed to have been issued by the Ministry of Defense on January 31, 2019, for a contract worth more than 80 thousand euros.
The reference did not bear the stamp of the Ministry of Defense. In fact, it did not even have a stamp at all.
ARF L.L.C. said that they were aware of these irregularities. According to them, the documentation was prepared by their father, who is now dead.
Speaking to BIRN Kosova The Ministry of Defense confirmed that they had not issued a reference for this business.
The tender was opened on November 1, 2021, which means that the references requested by the municipality would have had to be issued after November 1, 2018. The original reference issued by the Ministry of Defense was, however, issued on 31.01.2018, i.e. 45 months from the date when the tender was opened.
The reference submitted to the Municipality of Gjilan is dated January 31, 2019, which means that changes made in the document enabled the company to meet the tender criteria.
14 March 2023 - 18:16