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The US ambassador, Yuri Kim, said that Albania should continue taking measures to stop money laundering.
In an interview in 'Opinion', Kim said that the introduction of crime money in Albania would endanger EU membership
According to her, our country remains in the gray area in terms of money transparency, which means that there are still problems with the transparency of money used. The ambassador emphasized that Albania should continue taking measures to stop money laundering.
Part of the interview
Blendi Fevziu: Let's go back to money laundering and criminals. We have recently had problems with organized crime in Albania, with gangs abroad. We are working in the UK, Holland, Belgium, and we are bringing here their problems, all their money, but also the problems they have among themselves. The problem is, do you think that Albania is becoming a very problematic country regarding organized crime? According to your information?
Ambassador Kim: I think Albania has a bad reputation. I think that the point of view of the United States regarding corruption and organized crime in Albania is well known. They are expressed in various reports that we publish every year. And, unfortunately, they are also reflected in the fact that Albania is on the gray list of the Financial Action Task Force. This is the European institution which examines financial practices worldwide. And they use terms like lack of strategy to describe Albania's anti-money laundering mechanisms. Therefore it is very important. I know, at the beginning of our interview, I talked about the choice that Albania should make, about the choice that Albanian leaders should make. You must make this choice now. You have to choose who owns this country. Will ordinary people have it? Will the criminals have it? Who will own your land, all those hotels and who will get the benefits?
Blendi Fevziu: Those gradiacellas, in fact, no one knows where the money for them comes from...
Ambassador Kim: Exactly… You have to be able to explain all of this and you have to take real steps to prevent money laundering. I know there has been a lot of discussion about the fiscal amnesty…
Blendi Fevziu: I will ask you about the fiscal amnesty, I completely agree with you about money laundering. But there is a different mentality in Albania. And they will tell you that people think: why not, let's say, black money, not come to Albania, that money comes from the United Kingdom, Holland, Belgium, very democratic countries with strong laws, and why that money not to come to Albania to build the country. Some other people say that, I know, but that even New York or London were built with dirty money.
Ambasadorja Kim: Mendoj se ky është një argument i tmerrshëm.
Blendi Fevziu: Por është argument.
Ambasadorja Kim: Është argument, por është një argument i tmerrshëm. Nëse do të shkonit në atë drejtim, do të vinit në rrezik anëtarësimin e Shqipërisë dhe kandidimin për të qenë anëtare e BE-së. Dhe ky është një vend që do të përfitojë jashtëzakonisht shumë nga të qenurit pjesë e BE-së. Por duhet të bëhet edhe një vend që do të japë shumë dhe do të kontribuojë në begatinë dhe sigurinë e Bashkimit Europian. Nuk mund të jetë vetëm merr, merr, merr. Prandaj, duhen ndërmarrë disa hapa këtu që ta bëjnë Shqipërinë më transparente, që do ta ndihmojë të tejkalojë mangësitë strategjike, që do t’i përmirësojë imazhin në mbarë botën. Shpresoj që shumë e më shumë njerëz të shohin Shqipërinë që unë shoh, që miqtë e mi shohin kur vijnë për vizitë, që është një vend që është shumë i bukur, me njerëz që janë jashtëzakonisht bujarë dhe punëtore, dhe të cilët e dijnë se e ardhmja e tyre është europiane.