Electricity

Kosovo* police arrest CEO of government-owned power utility KEK

Kosovo police arrest CEO government owned power utility KEK Nagip Krasniqi

Photo: Nagip Krasniqi / LinkedIn

Published

April 20, 2023

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Published:

April 20, 2023

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Chief Executive Officer of Kosovo Energy Corp. Nagip Krasniqi is in detention for up to 48 hours on charges of abuse of power, influence peddling and conflict of interest.

Upon the order from the Special Prosecution Office, the office and two apartments of the CEO of Kosovo Energy Corp. (KEK) Nagip Krasniqi were searched and he was arrested for suspicion of corruption. The official, who led the government-controlled coal and electricity producer since October 2021, when he was appointed by a temporary board, has been detained for up to 48 hours.

Prosecutors said Krasniqi was arrested on accounts of misuse of official position or authority, exercise of influence and conflict of interest. The only other detail that they revealed is that they seized documents and electronic devices.

Unidentified people with knowledge of the matter told the media that the arrest is connected with a contract for the emergency repair of a defunct coal-fired power plant unit

Domestic media outlets learned from unnamed sources that the arrest of KEK’s chief is related to the project for the revitalization of unit 5 in the Kosovo A coal-fired plant, a contract with electricity distribution system operator KEDS and a EUR 60,000 fee for consulting services.

The deal for the A5 unit was made directly, without a public procurement procedure, with the company Litwin in partnership with a firm called Bujar B. Shala, reports said. The urgent repair is worth EUR 3.4 million, following a failed tender.

Prime Minister Albin Kurti claims the Special Prosecution Office has a political agenda against his government

The unit has been offline for ten months and some critics from the opposition expressed suspicion that Krasniqi favored electricity imports for personal gain. Prime Minister Albin Kurti claimed that in the Special Prosecution Office and beyond, “higher up,” there is a political agenda against his government.

KEK operates two ancient lignite-fired power plants: Kosovo A and Kosovo B, which account for almost all domestic electricity output. Kosovo* is dependent on power imports and it often conducts rolling blackouts, especially since a series of breakdowns that began in late 2021.

* This designation is without prejudice to positions on status and is in line with UNSCR 1244/99 and the ICJ Opinion on the Kosovo declaration of independence.
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