Albanian mayor, 11 other officials arrested over corruption

TIRANA, Albania (AP) — Albanian prosecutors say a mayor and 11 other officials have been arrested for illegally selling a beach area in the largest operation yet of its kind.

A statement from prosecutors Friday said that Fran Frrokaj, the mayor of Lezhe in northwestern Albania, and the other 11 officials were charged with abusing their positions and falsifying documents.

They’re accused of preparing false documentation for 300,000 square meters (74 acres) of public land and selling it at symbolic prices to fictitious owners.

Such seaside areas are often sold on at high prices for development as tourist resorts. Fighting corruption is a top priority for Albania as it seeks to launch talks on joining the European Union.

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