Press Release April 07, 2016
GFI Albania, a company specializing in marking and monitoring of hydrocarbons, has found itself during the last days under unprecedented, meaningless and malicious media assaults. Flabbergasted and shocked by the array of untrue reports, unprofessional op-eds and false allegations, we feel obligated to clarify the Albanian public opinion, as follows:
• The national project of fuels marking and monitoring was not suddenly commenced in 2013 as it is maliciously alleged.
• The allegation that GFI Technologies was awarded the concession rights of fuels marking in Albania immediately upon incorporation in May 2013 is entirely false. The concession of fuels marking in Albania is not related to GFI Technologies whatsoever.
• The proposal to establish a fuels marking project has been submitted to the Albanian Government since 2010. The implementation of a national project was approved by the government in 2011, therefore establishing the legal framework to launch a competitive procedure. This procedure was consequently announced and completed in 2012, whereas the concession contract was executed in February 2013 after months of negotiations. In a perhaps unique pattern of competitive bids organized by Albanian public agencies, the tender process included physical tests of the technological capabilities. GFI Albania shpk, a company working under the Albanian corporate law, was incorporated in April 2013 further to the obligation arising from the concession contract.
• The on-field project implementation started in September 2013. Our work has harmed the illegal interests of many abusers and smugglers of fuels, who unfortunately have not stopped lobbying in many forms against the project implementation, sometimes also through media campaigns assisted by some people who call themselves journalists or columnists. Surprisingly enough, many media that during the last days did not refrain from misinforming and launching a smear campaign never bothered to search for feedback on the positive impact of the marking concession in Albania. Volumes of legally declared fuels were considerably increased in 2015, albeit various large consuming industries like construction and shipping were downsizing. GFI Albania’s work has increased the Albanian government revenues by additional $60 million USD during the last year. It is clear that such money was taken away from perpetrators’ pockets into the Albanian state budget.
• Slanders regarding financial data and figures of GFI Albania’s work are not a recent phenomenon. Since 2013, when the Association of fuel traders filed a complaint in the Constitutional Court to proclaim the concession contract null and void, it was reported in the media that fuel retail prices would increase by 20 LEK per liter (!) as a consequence of the project, when the service fee is in fact 0.6 LEK per liter. Various reports tried to mislead the public opinion by mentioning wildly exaggerated figures like 150 million EUR of profits, or even 300 million EUR, while in fact the total combined company turnover during the last three years 2013-2015 is about 6 million EUR.
• It was even alleged in the media that GFI Albania wired suspicious money transfers of 400 and 500 thousand EUR. We strongly emphasize that this is an entirely abusive lie. The financial activity of GFI Albania is completely transparent, lawful and easily monitorable by the Contracting Authority and all the other law enforcement agencies of the Albanian state.
We guarantee the Albanian public opinion that GFI Albania works in the best interests of the Albanian people by supporting the Albanian Government in its fight against smuggling and tax fraud in the fuels sector.