Albanians Rally Against Bank Chief After Robbery

Dozens of protesters gathered in front of the central bank to call on governor Ardian Fullani to resign following a record heist from its treasury building.

Besar Likmeta
BIRN

Tirana

Holding posters reading ‘wanted’ and ‘thief,’ the protestors, who organised themselves through social networks,  gathered in front of Albania’s central bank at noon on Monday, calling for Fulani’s resignation and prosecution.

The small protest came amid raising anger over 7.13 billion lek (5 million euro) theft from the bank, for which nine people- eight of them bank employees – have been arrested.

Pictures posted on social networks by the governor’s 20-year-old son, which apparently showed a lavish lifestyle of expensive cars and designer watches, have fuelled the calls for the government to sack the bank chief.

Following the publication of the photos by local media, Albania’s official assets disclosure agency, HIIDAA, announced an investigation of Fullani’s wealth, the wealth of the bank’s board of directors and other key officials at the bank.

“The information collected during this administrative investigation will extend to family members, consorts, children and people connected with the officials,” HIDAA said in a statement.

Details of the heist have remained sketchy, but in a statement last Tuesday, the bank’s supervisory board said that the theft had occurred over time but insisted that the operations had not been affected.

“An inventory of the cash deposit has been carried out regularly in accordance with the law and procedures,” the board said.

“The theft has occurred at an intermediary front desk, where daily cash operations are carried out, due to the failure to apply procedures by a group of employees,” it added.

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