In April, the National Anticorruption Center handled several cases in close cooperation with the national anticorruption prosecutors. One of the major investigation concerns the Deputy Minister of Economy. He was detained by the anticorruption prosecutors and NAC officers for suspicions of abuse of power and damages to the State budget. The Deputy Minister is suspected of purchasing real estate from the JSC Moldtelecom, the founder of which is the Ministry of Economy, renting it out under lease agreement to an electric energy supplier (JSC FEE-Nord) and requesting repairs to the real estate with the allocation of MDL 4,000,000 (approx. EUR 188,669). If found guilty, he will have to pay a fine or serve between 2 and 5 years jail time, while, in both cases, being deprived of the right to hold certain office positions and practice certain activities for a period from 5 to 10 years. The Vice Minister was subsequently relieved of his position. Four more persons have been arrested during the investigations, among which the Vice Minister’s councilor and the director of JSC FEE-Nord.
On 3 April, the vice president of the managing board of Moldova Agroindbank was detained by the NAC officers and anticorruption prosecutors in a case on the National Bureau of Motor Insurers (NBMI). He is suspected of abuse of office by having illegally facilitated the admission of unauthorized persons to the fraudulent management of NBMI accounts, causing damages of approximately MDL 15,000,000 (EUR 710,863). The investigation has resulted in the arrest of 3 persons so far.
On 11 April, 19 persons were detained, including 3 mayors, 6 high school directors and 9 employees from the private sector. They are suspected of organizing fraudulent tenders for several investment projects, with the aim to favor certain economic agents and diverting financial assets valued over MDL 28,000,000 (approx. EUR 1,326,945), initially allocated to strengthen the efficiency of energy consumption. Following investigations, 12 criminal cases have been initiated on passive corruption, influence peddling, exceeding office prerogatives and abuse of power.
On 13 April, the former president of the Criuleni district has been detained by NAC officers and anticorruption prosecutors for suspicions of soliciting approximately MDL 1,700,000 (EUR 80,565) from several economic agents engaged in the implementation of European investment projects, by means of pressuring said agents with impediments to implementation. Investigations resulted in the arrest of the manager of the CBCRurWaste project (strengthening local cooperation for the purpose of improving solid waste management practices) and 3 other persons, including the former vice president of the Criuleni district, who resisted and tried to escape, but was later detained by NAC officers.
Last, on 20 April, the magistrates condemned a businessman, Veaceslav Platon, “the no.1 Raider in the Community of Independent States”, to 18-year imprisonment sentence with execution, for scam and money laundering, for damages to the Banca de Economii of 800 million lei (approx. EURO 40,000,000). Mr. Platon was also deprived of his right to serve in the banking system for five years. The magistrates seized over 869 million lei (approx. 43,450,000 euros) of his assets. Accused of scam and money laundering in the “Russian Laundry” file, on 25 July 2016, an international arrest warrant had been issued against him. In just a few hours, he was arrested in Ukraine and was extradited to the authorities of the Republic of Moldova.