Interpol Rejects Request by Moldova to Issue a Red Notice for Vladimir Plahotniuc’s Arrest

Interpol Rejects Request by Moldova to Issue a Red Notice for Vladimir Plahotniuc’s Arrest
24 July 2020 | 11:49

Interpol refused to issue a Red Notice, for the arrest of the former leader of the Democratic Party, Vladimir Plahotniuc. The organization also decided to delete Plahotniuc’s data from the Organization’s databases. Interpol didn’t motivate its decision.

In Moldova, Plahotniuc is charged with setting up and running a criminal organization, large-scale fraud, and large-scale money laundering. For these crimes, the law provides for up to 15 years in prison.

Plahotniuc, who controlled Moldova through blackmailing and terror from 2016 to 2019, fled the country in June 2019 after the government led by the Democratic Party lost the power in favor of an alliance backed by the U.S., European Union, and Russia.

According to the General Prosecutor’s Office, the Interpol refused to issue a Red Notice for Plahotniuc’s arrest. The General Prosecutor’s Office received the information on July 23, 2020. 

The decision was taken at the last session of the Commission, held from June 29 to July 3, 2020, in the city of Lyon, France. According to the Commission, Interpol is not obliged to keep the data on Plahotniuc on Interpol’s database. The Commission did not mention the reason for refusing to include Plahotniuc on the internationally wanted fugitive list.     

The General Prosecutor’s Office will request the International Police Cooperation Directorate within the General Police Inspectorate to explain the reasons behind the reason for refusing to include Plahotniuc on the internationally wanted fugitive list. 

The Prosecutor’s Office will decide what to do next according to the explanation offered by the International Police Cooperation Directorate within the General Police Inspectorate. 

Meanwhile, the Prosecutor’s Office continues to manage evidence and will intervene with additional arguments in each case of refusal from the partners, to convince them that Plahotniuc is one of the beneficiaries of the theft of the billion.

The Office of the Prosecutor General investigates a criminal organization led by Plahotniuc and the bank fraud case, in which Plahotniuc is the main beneficiary. These two cases are among the most complex cases that the Prosecutor’s Office has ever investigated and among the most financially relevant for the whole society.

One month ago,  the Prosecutor General, Alexandr Stoianoglo, requested the U.S. to extradite Plahotniuc, who is charged with involvement in “The Theft of the Billion”.

At the same time, the Anticorruption Prosecutor’s Office requested that U.S. authorities prosecute Plahotniuc’s criminal activity and investigate the origin of his assets in the U.S.

Plahotniuc sued the U.S. State Department one month after the visa ban was announced. In Moldova, Plahotniuc has four criminal cases opened against him, two of them being linked to “The Theft of the Billion”. 

The prosecutors charged Plahotniuc with setting up and running a criminal organization, large-scale fraud, and large-scale money laundering. In October 2019, the prosecutors announced him in the national search. For these crimes, the law provides for up to 15 years in prison.

Plahotniuc, who controlled Moldova through blackmailing and terror from 2016 to 2019, fled the country in June 2019 after the government led by the Democratic Party lost the power in favor of an alliance backed by the U.S., European Union, and Russia.

After taking power, the political elite promised to bring Plahotniuc back in handcuffs. However, a year has passed and politicians are making up excuses for lack of progress in cases opened against Plahotniuc or his entourage.

In March 2020, the U.S. Embassy in Chișinău confirmed that Plahotniuc is on U.S. territory.

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