“I’m Victoria Bogatu, undercover agent”. The former MP, who was paid about $55,000 by Shor to give him another party, talks about working with prosecutors
For the past five months, fugitive ex-deputy Ilan Șor allegedly believed that “Arina Spătaru was bought with his money”. The statement was made by the former MP, admitting that she is the former elected representative of the people recruited by Alexandr Nesterovschi, who collaborated with lawmen to investigate Shor and illegal party financing.
Adrian Culai, secretary-general of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE) party, also took part in the undercover operation.
“I, Arina Spătaru, also Victoria Bogatu, undercover agent, am the deputy mentioned yesterday in the Parliament of the Republic of Moldova by the acting Prosecutor General, by the head of the Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office (…). I have been waiting for this moment since 15 April. To tell you the details of this investigation that will really blow up Moldovan politics,” Spătaru said.
The politician also said that Shor allegedly believed that the ALDE party was made at his behest.
“This was our mission, to document how the Kremlin-funded Shor is growing his parties in Moldova (…). Yes, we know there are major risks, we know that Shor is vindictive.
I was afraid every night, for my life and my family’s life, and I was aware of the risk I was taking. You can’t imagine the impudence and impertinence of Shor, who sent Nesterovschi home, to work, to work, through the supermarket, on the phone, with flattery, with manipulation, just to buy me like at the market. I was visited unannounced at home, at work, he approached me wherever he caught me. On the other hand, I was aware that we had many politicians who could be bought by such methods (…).
After my denunciation in April 2023, in which I informed the authorities that Nesterovschi wanted to buy me for Shor, the prosecutor authorized the first investigation. My first conversation with Shor was documented through the Bria application”, said the ALDE president.
She said she had been in Israel, visiting Ilan Shor, “in his luxurious villa, and listened to his evil plans”. Spătaru presented a mobile phone that Șor allegedly gave her with the money.
“Thanks to this operation, Șor was located and his real address in Caesarea in early August appeared in the investigations of journalists in Israel,” the former MP added.
She also informed that the pro-European party that was to be taken over by Shor is the League of Cities and Communes party, in which Mihai Bagas, allegedly the childhood friend of the fugitive convict Shor and financier.
Alexandr Nesterovschi, the defector MP detained for 72 hours by prosecutors and officers of the National Anti-Corruption Centre (NAC) in the case concerning illegal financing of political parties, participated in complicity with fugitive former MP Ilan Shor in the recruitment of a former MP to head a political party, allegedly pro-European, but implementing Shor’s plans. The statements belong to the head of the Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office (PA), Veronica Dragalin, who came up with more details after MPs Irina Lozovan and Alexandr Nesterovschi were left without parliamentary immunity.
During the prosecution, the PA chief says, law enforcement officials documented how Nesterovschi passed a paper bag containing $50,000 in cash and 100,000 lei to a former MP with the aim of persuading him to create a political party to carry out Ilan Shor’s instructions.
According to Veronica Dragalin, Alexandr Nesterovschi accepted a salary of $5,000 a month from Ilan Shor in order to leave the Bloc of Communists and Socialists (BCS).
“(…) From the evidence gathered, the Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office, together with the CNA and SIS, has documented that MP Alexandr Nesterovschi participated in complicity with Ilan Șor in the recruitment of a person to head a political party, which claims to be pro-European, but which is part of Ilan Șor’s plan.
Ilan Shor had direct discussions with the person who was recruited for this purpose, the person who denounced this from the beginning and cooperated with the prosecution. Ilan Șor explained that the party will be financed including by legal entities here in Moldova. For example, construction companies, as he explained, which will finance the party, but from the shadows this money will actually come from Ilan Shor, without anyone knowing about the fact that he is behind it (…).
During the criminal prosecution, we documented how MP Nesterovschi sent a paper package with 50 thousand dollars in cash and 100 thousand lei to this former MP, in order to convince this person to create a political party that would execute Ilan Shor’s instructions (…). The evidence in the file indicated a reasonable suspicion that the deputy Nesterovschi accepted a sum of money from Ilan Șor and accepted a salary of 5000 dollars per month to leave the parliamentary faction of which he was a member, in order to form a new faction in Parliament, which requires five deputies and to act in the interest of Ilan Șor and the criminal group led by Ilan Șor, in his duties as a deputy (…).
(…) We are aware of these facts because we have witnesses who have testified and explained to us the specific discussions they had in Israel. We were able to intercept and record conversations between people through special applications, including WhatsApp and the “Bria” application. So, we determined that part of the scheme was that Ilan Shor, through other intermediaries gave mobile phones to people recruited into this group. These mobile phones included the “Bria” app and through which they can communicate directly with Ilan Shor and with each other, people who know each other,” the PA chief said at a press briefing.
Irina Lozovan and Alexandr Nesterovschi, deputies of the “Renaissance” party, affiliated to former fugitive MP Ilan Shor, whose parliamentary immunity was lifted, were detained on Thursday evening, 21 September, for 72 hours.