Who is , the story of Dritan Gjika : The mysterious Albania n who got rich in Ecuador

Maria Belen Arroyo Dorjana Bezat Fatjona Medjini

An Albanian citizen , born in 1976 and living in Ecuador since 2013, is one of the key figures in the case that the police investigated, confidentially, in 2021. The framework involves Rubén Cherres, a friend of Danilo Carrera , the president’s brother-in-law Lasso. Cherres, now a fugitive from justice, was a business partner of the Albanian Dritan Gjika in several companies.

Dritan Gjika, according to his country’s records, reached high school. However, in Ecuador his finances stood out in the pandemic .

Between 2015 and 2018, the Albanian did not pay income tax, according to the Internal Revenue Service (SRI). In 2019 and 2020, the value that was taxed exceeded $500, in each of those years. But in 2021, he paid $15,342 in income tax , while the currency outflow tax that year exceeded $3,700 . In 2022, he did not pay income tax; but it did contribute $1,805 per outflow of foreign currency.

What was Gjika’s lucrative activity in Ecuador? Gjika incorporated a dozen companies on the same day, June 17, 2021, together with Rubén Cherres. The curious thing about the companies created simultaneously is that they have a wide range of social objects, ranging from the production of meat, through tourism and promotion of shows, according to documents that appear in the investigation carried out by the office of Assemblyman Ricardo Vanegas .

$! On the one hand the Albanian Dritan Gjika and on the other his partner Rubén Cherres.

Also read: Ricardo Vanegas reveals the names of politicians linked to Albanian companies

Cherres, in his identity record, is listed as disabled and cites “oil tanker” as his profession , without further explanation.

According to the Albanian state police, Gjika does not have a criminal record and has not been arrested by the Albanian police .

In September 2021, however, the Italian police deported him from Treviso, Italy, for failing to gather the necessary documentation to enter that country.

Records indicate that he traveled between Albania and Dubai. For specialized investigators, Dubai , one of the seven Arab emirates, is a prime destination for money laundering. This is explained, from the Albanian capital Tirana, by the journalist Fatjona Medjini , from the Global Initiative against Organized Crime.

On January 7 of this year, on the eve of the dissemination of the first audios that uncovered the case, the Albanian Gjika left for Turkey . Since then, his whereabouts have not been known. The lack of continuity in the Ecuadorian police investigation allowed him to disappear.

Also read: How did the Albanian mafia get to Ecuador?

The scandal over possible acts of corruption (influence peddling and bribery) of the structure made up of Cherres generated an investigation in the Legislature.

But the shock that caused the complaint against the Government went into a forced pause , due to the errors of substance and form that the Assembly made in its attempt, so far unsuccessful, to take President Lasso to impeachment.

$!The tentacles of the Albanian mafia in Ecuador generated an investigation in the Assembly.

*This note was made in partnership with the Global Initiative Against Organized Crime and the Press and Society Institute, IPYS.

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