The £1.5m fleet of electric vehicles the UK will send to Albania in prison deal

Fifteen electric cars and 22 minibuses will also be sent to upgrade Albania's prison service
Fifteen electric cars and 22 minibuses will be sent to upgrade Albania's prison service

A £1.5 million fleet of electric vehicles and minibuses purchased by the UK for Albania has been unveiled.

The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) is providing 15 electric cars and 22 minibuses to help upgrade Albania’s prison service under a deal that will see 200 of the most violent criminals from the country returned to serve the rest of their time in Albanian jails.

It is part of a total €5 million (£4.4 million) to pay for refurbishing prisons, extra security, workshops, rehabilitation equipment and training of warders.

Britain is also paying a further £4 million a year to the Albanians to take back the prisoners, including 17 lifers.

Among those identified for return is Koci Selamaj, 36, the murderer of schoolteacher Sabina Nessa, 28. He was jailed for a minimum of 36 years for beating and strangling her to death in a park in south-east London.

He has so far served only two years, which would mean the UK paying the Albanians £400,000 to imprison him for the remaining 34 years of his sentence.

UK is paying £4million a year to Albania to take back prisoners including 17 lifers
UK is paying £4million a year to Albania to take back prisoners including 17 lifers

The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) said the deal would save the taxpayer money, because it costs nearly £40,000 a year to house a prisoner in England and Wales. That would equate to some £1.9 million for Selamaj.

New details from government contracts, published this month, show that part of the multi-million pound deal is going towards kitting out the Albanian prison service with a new fleet of vehicles.

Around £500,000 has been spent on 15 electric vehicles, while 22 new minibuses will be provided to Albania’s prison service at a cost of more than £1 million.

The Government described the provision of electric vehicles as “part of the drive towards net zero and is part of a wider greening initiative”.

Announcing the arrangement in May, Alex Chalk, the Justice Secretary, said the “public expects that foreign criminals should serve their sentences overseas – not in our prisons at the expense of the taxpayer”.

He promised that the deal “will speed up the removal of these offenders and give victims confidence that serious criminals will continue to face justice and spend the remainder of their sentence behind bars”.

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