A photograph from a 2013 dinner in Tirana, Albania, links together the Chinese energy giant that infamously did work with Hunter Biden, CEFC, the associates of indicted FBI agent Charles McGonigal, China's ambassador, and power players in the Albanian government.
For anyone who needs their memory refreshed in our 24/7 news cycle; McGonigal was the former top FBI counter intel agent recent indicted for his alleged illegal work with Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska. Ironically, McGonigal helped instigate the infamous “Crossfire Hurricane” probe into Donald Trump’s non-existent Russian collusion before being indicted for his own Russian collusion.
Patrick Ho is pictured (second to the right) dining with then-Speaker of Parliament Ilir Meta. Meta had previously been Prime Minister (from 1999-2002), and would later serve as President of the country (from 2017-2022). Meta was part of the “Socialist Party for Integration'' at the time, and now leads the party (which has been rebranded the “Freedom Party”). The timing of the dinner is such that it happened right after the coalition broke down between Albania's Democratic Party and the Socialist Party for Integration, in which Meta switched his alliance to current Prime Minister Edi Rama, who is now ensnared in the McGonigal scandal.
(Image source: Screenshot from Top Channel TV report breaking news of the photo).
Patrick Ho was convicted in U.S. federal court of bribing top officials in Chad and Uganda in pursuit of oil deals and was sentenced to three years in prison in March 2019 and then expelled from the U.S.. There was a $1 million wire from Hudson West to Hunter Biden in March 2018 that had the memo line “Dr Patrick Ho Chi Ping Representation.” The first person that Ho called after being arrested by the FBI was Joe Biden’s brother James, and the call was intended for Hunter.
Next to Meta is Dorian Ducka (fourth from the left, holding a cigar), the man listed as “Person B” in the indictment of McGonigal. Ducka has been socialist Prime Minister Edi Rama’s Adviser of Investments since 2016, and was Deputy Minister of Energy and Industry of Albania from 2013-2015. Ducka is also Meta’s cousin. Ducka was photographed with the chairman of CEFC in May 2017, as was reported in China state media.
Next to Ducka is “Person A” in the McGonigal indictment, Agron Neza. He’s the former Albanian intelligence official that McGonigal received a $225,000 wire from that that he was indicted over.
Among the other men pictured includes McGonigal’s right hand man, Mark Rossini, at the head of the table. Rossini is a disgraced ex-FBI agent who left the bureau in 2008 amid scandal, and faces separate bribery charges from an August 2022 federal indictment in Puerto Rico. In 2019, Rossini appeared in an Albanian propaganda film about Russian involvement in the country, and he tries to link protests from the opposition as being Russian-influenced.
McGonical, Rossini, Neza, and a man named Shefqet Dizdari were all partners in a firm called “Lawoffice & Investigation,” which was founded in 2007 and closed in 2019. Dizdari also owns a third of the shares in an offshore Albanian oil producer.
Of note, Meta was recently asked about this dinner and confirmed the presence of Neza, Ducka, and Rossini, while other Albanian media has confirmed Ho’s presence.
Also at the table is the Chinese ambassador in Albania, Ye Hao, as was confirmed by Meta’s wife in a recent interview. Edi Rama launched a Confucius Institute at the University of Tirana in November 2013. The Confucius Institutes present themselves as a Chinese cultural institution, but are really Communist Party funded and directed propaganda. At the opening of the Institute, Hao praised it as a milestone in relations between China and Albania.
One obvious question is; what was Rossini doing dining with the Chinese ambassador, and Ho, who Hunter Biden once referred to as the "spy chief of China"? What can immediately be gleaned is that the meddling in Albania from the likes of McGonigal and company go back much further, and deeper, than we thought.
Evi Kokalari is an Albanian-American, engaged in conservative political activism, leveraging her professional and personal background for policy advising on local and national political races. She has appeared on Fox News, CBS, CNBC Arabia, Newsmax, PBS, and Pix11. Find her on Twitter @KokalariEvi
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