Albanian central bank chief arrested for alleged abuse of office over cash reserve theft

IndustriesAssociated Press

Prosecutors in Albania says that central bank governor Ardian Fullani has been arrested for alleged abuse of office in connection with a multi-million dollar theft from the bank's reserves.

Albi Serani, spokesman for the Prosecutor-General's office, says the Bank of Albania chief was taken into police custody following a court order late Friday. Serani said the arrest is linked to the alleged theft of 713 million leks (5 million euros; $6.6 million) from a reserve storage building which was discovered in July, but provided no further details.

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The money was allegedly stolen over the past four years, and Albanian authorities have already arrested 16 central bank employees in the case.

Fullani, 59, was appointed governor in 2004, and is serving his second seven-year term.