Albanian state loses the legal battle against Bankers and must pay 37 million USD

Albanian state loses the legal battle against Bankers and must pay 37 million USD

Tirana, 30 August 2016/Independent Balkan News Agency

Albanian authorities lose 57 million USD billed to the Canadians of Bankers. 37 million USD out of this amount must be refunded, while the rest will not be refunded.

National Agency of Natural Resources (ABKN) said that it has lost the legal battle against the Canadian company specializing in the processing and production of oil, “Bankers Petrolium”, which has been operating in Albania for years.

International auditing company “Price Waterhouse Cooper” and “Navigant” have published the decision in favor of Bankers, thus overthrowing the claims raised by the Albanian side.

The decision obliges the Albanian government to refund to the company 37 million USD, which it has paid until now, from the total amount of 57 million USD that the Albanian government was claiming.

Ministry of Finance says that the amount is not a problem for the budget, assuring Bankers that it will have its money back.

Meanwhile, ABKN has not officially confirmed whether it would appeal this decision or not.

The row between AKBN and Bankers Petroleum culminated last year when the General Directorate of Taxation froze the bank accounts of the Canadian company.

The disputes had started in 2011. In one of its reports, AKBN said that that year, the Canadians had reported over 300 million USD of unjustified expenses, thus avoiding over 57 million USD of taxes.

Bankers initially threatened that it would take the case to the arbitrage, but following many negotiations, a solution was found. The company started to pay its obligations by installments and in the meantime, along with AKBN, they hired a foreign auditor to shed light on this case. /