Former MP Vladimir Andronachi accused of “leading role” in the attempt to deprive Moldova of a building in Odessa
Former Democratic MP Vladimir Andronachi, who is in custody after being expelled from Ukraine, has been indicted “for his role as a leader” in the attempted dispossession of the real estate where the Moldovan Consulate in Odessa is located, the Prosecutor’s Office for Combating Organised Crime and Special Cases (PCCOCS) announced.
“Specifically, he is accused by PCCOCS prosecutors of acting as a leader in the attempt to dispossess Moldova of the real estate located in Odessa, Ukraine, under the administration of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and European Integration, where the Moldovan consulate is based. The crime under investigation is alleged to have been carried out with the participation of other persons, including public officials – members of an organised criminal group,” reads the statement published by the Prosecutor’s Office.
According to state prosecutors, there are six defendants in the case under investigation, who at this stage of the investigation are presumed innocent, according to the law.
Vladimir Andronachi was placed on Wednesday, November 2, in isolation at the National Anticorruption Centre (CNA). The information was provided to the Guard newspaper by representatives of the Anticorruption Prosecutor’s Office (PA).
Former Democratic MP Vladimir Andronachi, expelled on Wednesday morning, November 2, by the Ukrainian authorities, is included in the criminal cases “Bank Fraud” and “Metalferos”, which are under the management of the Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office (PA) and the Prosecutor’s Office for Combating Organized Crime and Special Cases (PCCOCS), respectively. At the same time, according to information provided by prosecutors at the time, he was also to be assigned procedural status in other criminal cases, managed by the PCCOCS, of embezzlement of several properties of Moldova in Ukraine.
In a commentary for Ziarul de Gardă, Emil Gaitur, spokesman for the PCCOCS, said that Vladimir Andronachi had been announced for international search including for “creation and management of a criminal organization, swindling in particularly large proportions (causing particularly large damages to “Metalferos”) and money laundering”.
“At the same time, he is to be assigned procedural quality in other criminal cases, handled by the PCCOCS, of embezzlement of several properties of the Republic of Moldova from Ukraine,” Emil Gaitur said.
On September 21, 2021, the PA obtained a 30-day arrest warrant for Andronachi, issued by the Chisinau Court of Appeals, Ciocana office, in the “bank fraud” case, notes PA head Veronica Dragalin.
“(…) According to official data from Moldova, Vladimir Andronachi left the country on July 5, 2021. On September 21, 2021, the Anticorruption Prosecutor’s Office obtained a 30-day arrest warrant issued by the Chisinau Court, Ciocana Branch, in the “bank fraud” case, which accuses Vladimir Andronachi of fraud and money laundering. Two days later, on 23 September 2021, in accordance with a request from the NAC, Moldova sent a request to INTERPOL for an international wanted persons notice with a view to arrest and extradition to Moldova. In July 2022, the former MP was put on international wanted list by INTERPOL for arrest and extradition to Moldova (…),” Veronica Dragalin said.
On Wednesday morning, 2 November, former Democratic MP Vladimir Andronachi, considered a close associate of former PDM leader Vladimir Plahotniuc, who was put on INTERPOL’s international wanted list in July, was detained at the Criva-Mamaliga border crossing into Moldova.
“He was taken to the Anticorruption Prosecutor’s Office. We remind that there is a warrant for his arrest,” a police statement said.
Subsequently, the head of the PA announced that the Ukrainian authorities have declared Vladimir Andronachi an undesirable person and expelled him from their territory.
“(…) We don’t have all the official details yet, but we understand that the decision to expel him from the country was based on two factors: first, it is known that Vladimir Andronachi is associated with Vladimir Plahotniuc, who since last week has been on the US sanctions list for his role in systemic corruption in Moldova. Secondly, given the state of war, Ukraine has a certain policy towards foreign nationals entering their country (…)”, said Veronica Dragalin.
On 8 July 2022, former Democratic MP Vladimir Andronachi was put on international wanted list by INTERPOL, as he is the subject of the “Metalferos” and “Bank Fraud” cases.
ZdG previously wrote that Vladimir Plahotniuc, the former chairman of the Democratic Party of Moldova, who is wanted by law enforcement agencies in Chisinau, had the right to sign or was a beneficiary of at least three companies that have benefited in recent years, directly or indirectly, tens of millions of dollars from contracts with “Metalferos”, a joint-stock company in which the state holds a majority stake. The name of Vladimir Andronachi, considered a close associate of the former PDM leader, also appears here.