Sabit Geci and Veton Surroi are suspected of violating the nature in Brezovica through construction of their illegal hotels
The construction of several villas and business centers in Brezovica has urged state action. Some of these constructions were blocked, on the grounds that they’ve destroyed the nature and violated the law – some even by changing the course of the river.
One of the companies, where Veton Surroi is a shareholder, is being considered as the biggest offender and may be prosecuted. Surroi’s company was forced to suspend its work on hotel building. The state has as well blocked construction building operations of ex-KLA commander, Sabit Geci, and of the businessman, Ramadan Idrizi.
However, all parties involved have denied having committed any breach.
In fact, Veton Surroi and Sabit Geci have totally opposite profiles. But the two have one thing in common – the nature. Not as the benevolent and guardians, but as its destroyers.
At least that’s how the state qualifies them.
Founder of the Koha media group, publicist and writer, Veton Surroi, is shareholder of 30 per cent in the Stella Construction company, which has besides some villas in Brezovica illegally built a multi-story building. For several months the facility is blocked by ribbons, writes Insajderi news portal.
The other hotel being constructed nearby belongs to Sabit Geci, a former KLA commander convicted of war crimes. The hotel is formally being registered on his wife, Sanije Geci. The facility is also blocked by the state.
In addition to blocking all activities, the Basic Prosecution in Ferizaj has launched investigations against several builders and investors. Prosecutor Rasim Maloku, who was already threatened with death, is investigating the case.
Rimida Online, Ruzhdi Aliu and Shkumbin Aliu as private persons, Rezonanca (represented by Ramadan Idrizi), Sanije Geci as private person (the wife of Sabit Geci), Ilir Osaj and Besnik Ferizi, Rrahman Duhani, Valon Budima, Stella Construction – with Veton Surroi and Gentijan Sulon as its shareholders, Dalibor Trifunovic, Shpetim Arifi and Fitim Graica, are among those who’re part of investigations.
However, publicist Veton Surroi has denied that the company he is part of has committed any wrongdoing.
“The facility in question is owned by Stella Consulting LLC, of which I am a minority shareholder. Stella Consulting has obtained all the necessary construction permits, according to the laws in force, before commencing construction and has adhered to them,” Surroi explained for Insajderi.
“The contractor has informed Stella Consulting that it has not received an order to terminate the works by the legal authority that granted the permit,” he added.
But the official file shows something else. There is the decision to stop the work.
Stella Consulting’s executive director, Gentjan Sulo, sent a letter to Albania’s Ambassador to Kosovo regarding obstacles being made to this foreign investment. Sulo is one of the 20 richest people in Albania. He was an honorary consul for a long time, until dismissed by the decision of current Foreign Minister of Albania, Gent Cakaj.
However, the state thinks differently compared to Surroi.
On August 8, 2019, law enforcement agencies along with those of the Ministry of Environment have inspected and stopped the work on the construction of several facilities in Brezovica. All activities were suspended due to suspicions that constructors failed to comply with the construction criteria, as envisaged by environmental and water laws and regulations, for the second area of Sharri National Park – where extensive illegal construction has been carried out for 20 years.
“On 08.09.2019, the Stella Consulting construction site, located on the left side of the road that goes to the ski center, in the place called Kamenito, was inspected”, says report of the Environmental Inspectorate, Water, Nature, Planning and Construction of MESP, issued in December 2019.
Yet, according to this report, the main problem lies somewhere else.
“Stella … had an environmental consent for the construction of 16 weekend houses, issued by the MESP, and in this decision there no word of any hotel premises,” the report of the Inspectorate of the Ministry of Environment states.
“The investor has not been granted construction permits for a business premise – a hotel, in the cadastral parcels in Vrbesica,” the report defines. “The project was under construction when the joint action, which was completed in August 2019, ordered all working activities to be stopped there.”
The ministry has ordered the municipality of Shtrpce to suspend the construction conditions due to their violations.
“To suspend the construction conditions, number 06-351/01-7974/18, issued on 24.07.2018, and Construction Permit No. 06-351/02-12”, the decision of the Ministry says.
Stella Consulting has filed a complaint with the Albanian Embassy in Kosovo for a ban on works by the state of Kosovo.
Executive Director, Gentjan Sula, wrote a long letter to the Embassy, listing the damages the company had, caused by blocking its activities by the inspection.
On the other side, Sanije Geci (Sabit Geci’s wife) and Ramadan Idrizaj, owner of Rezonanca Hospital, are also suspected of destroying the nature in Brezovica.
The Geci family business also possesses an Environmental Consent for the construction of the Kaona Hotel, although it should also have a municipal construction permit, as provided in the Administrative Instruction for Municipal Environmental Permit.
Sanije Geci owns just a construction permit for construction of a residential building, which is then turned into a business premise – a hotel, for which she doesn’t have a permit for the destination change.
Consequently, the State suspended construction of the facility. Sabit Geci, Saniye’s husband, says they’ve now settled everything concerning building permits.
“I got permission from the Municipality, from the Ministry – everything was reexamined and reevaluated, but now I have the permit,” he told to Insajderi . “Just for an annex I’ve had to apply for legalization… just for that small part. I’m now waiting for an answer,” he added, and described a bit on the investigation.
“The Prosecution in Ferizaj called my wife, Sanija, as the property is on her name, and she clarified everything to them. There is no problem with this issue anymore.”
The state investigation of last summer targeted the Rezonanca facility as well. The facility is owned by Ramadan Idrizaj. Idrizaj told Insajderi that his business facility have all construction permits.
“Our business premises are dedicated for a hotel, and are equipped with building permit issued by the Municipal Assembly of Shtrpce”.
However, based on the December 2019 report of the Cadastral Agency, Rezonanca has as well violated the Law on Waters, by building near the Murzhica River. This implies that the construction violated the Law on Waters, which states that all facilities except those that serve as flood protection must be at least 30 meters away from the watercourse line.
According to the law protection regimes on the territory of the Sharri National Park are zonal.
In the third zone, where all the buildings that are subject to state investigation are built, constructions and reconstructions are allowed… but all activities must be carried out in accordance with the laws on nature protection and all other relevant laws, as well as with the National Park Spatial Plan.
Rasim Maloku, the Serious Crimes Prosecutor in Ferizaj, had raised suspicions that the facilities in that area didn’t meet strict construction criteria.
“The permits have not been granted according to the specifics of this area,” he told the media on August 8, 2019.
On the other hand, Mustafa Hyseni, inspector that inspected the whole process, said that all facilities built in the area have permits, even though some have exceeded the surface.
“The cases suspected for exceeding their permits are being processed by the prosecution,” Hyseni told Insajderi.
Whereas the new Deputy Minister of Infrastructure and Environment, Avni Zogiani, says that he cannot speak specifically for each case.
“It’s not that I dealt with these cases. There are inspectors for this issue, “he told to Insajderi.
Meanwhile, the news portal Periskopi has checked the online data of the The Business Registration Agency (ARBK), and has realized that Stella Consulting, to which Surroi is a shareholder, has been completely terminated.