The fact you don’t know the law pulls you in the trap of policemen. There are also foreign citizens among the victims of policemen. In their cases, “the transaction” is made not in lei, but in euros. After bribing policemen with a lot of money, foreigners say they will never come back to the Republic of Moldova. At the same time, the heads of police wonder why people who face such situations don’t trust the employees of the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA).
On August 1st 2008, Liliana, who is 30 years old, together with her Spanish husband, Carlos, who is 34, and who came to the Republic of Moldova for the first time, went out at 10 p.m. to buy some water. They were near the crossroads of Stefan cel Mare Avenue with Armeana street, when they were stopped by some policemen who went out from a car with the registration number MHA 1203. “They told me I could be a victim of human trafficking,” Liliana remembers. “I explained them he was my husband and they didn’t have to worry about that. But those three policemen asked for Carlos’ ID documents. They told him his documents were not in order and he had to come with them at the Police Station and pay a fee of 800 lei. All these happened because he didn’t have registration when he entered the country,” Liliana says.
The price is 100 Euros
The idea to accompany the policemen to the Police Station shocked them. Seeing them puzzled and nervous, the policemen proposed the couple to solve the problem for the sum of 100 euros. “100 euros seemed an exaggerated sum to us”, Liliana remembers. “We offered them 50 euros. They said it was not enough, but accepted the money quite quickly”, Liliana continues. In order to give them that money, Liliana got with the two policemen into the car. “The youngest one stayed outside with Carlos”, Liliana recalls the details from August 1st evening. The one who was talking to her was policeman Vanea. “When I took out the money from the wallet, the policeman Vanea told me not to give it directly to him, but to put it between the front seats. And after I gave them the money, he had the impudence to invite me to have a tea”, Liliana says. More than that, after taking the money, the policemen gave them some advice. “They told us that in order not to be “fined” by other policemen, we have to bring to the order all documents,” says the young woman, who noticed that after getting rid of policemen, those ones immediately stopped two Italians.
The law doesn’t exist
On Saturday, August 2nd, after waking up, Liliana and Carlos went to the office of documentation for foreigners who are temporarily settled in the Republic of Moldova, in order to take the documents. “That’s the limit! The personnel of the bureau burst out,” Liliana says. “They looked at us in a strange way, asking us whether we knew that the document through which the foreigners are obliged to register at the customs has been canceled in 2006,” Liliana continues. Till they left the country, Liliana carried the decision of the government with her in order to prove the policemen that her husband stays legally in the Republic of Moldova.
Angry with the happened event, those two called an anticorruption line – 25 72 57. This is the hot line of the Center for Fighting Economic Crimes and Corruption (CFECC). “We were told that we had to fill in a complaint, but, without any evidence, we have small chances to solve this situation,” Liliana quoted the representatives of CFECC.
Even if they understood they were cheated by the policemen, and that in fact they were right, after the incident from August 1st, those two were afraid to go out. “Every time when we were passing by the center, we were trying to go round the crossroads of Stefan cel Mare Avenue and Armeana street,” Liliana adds.
The Republic of Moldova, abandoned by tourists
After this situation, Carlos says he is disappointed with the Republic of Moldova. “Initially I perceived it as a country with hospitable people, but the situation in which I had to bribe the policemen disappointed me”, the man says. “Moreover, I am a foreigner who spent a lot of money in the Republic of Moldova. Other tourists do the same. But such situations make us not to want anymore to visit this country,” he continues, disappointed with his experience in the Republic of Moldova.
Raisa Roibu, from the office of documentation for foreigners who temporarily stay in the Republic of Moldova, informed us that every foreigner has the right to stay in the Republic of Moldova for a period of 90 days every half a year. At the same time, the employee of ODF told us the document according to which the foreigners have to register at the customs has been canceled for already two years.
Indeed, in May 2006, prime-minister Vasile Tarlev, signed a decision through which the regulations of staying on the territory of our country for foreigners and stateless persons were modified. “The foreigners and stateless persons who are stay temporarily and legally in the Republic of Moldova can stay up to 90 days every half a year, beginning with the first day of their entering the country, or another period fixed in the visa issued by the authorities of the Republic of Moldova, but no longer than the one mentioned here, except foreigners who have identity cards for stateless persons or residence permission. As soon as their visa expires or given term of staying, foreigners and stateless persons are obliged to leave the country,” the decision made two years ago shows.
The Commander of the Regiment of Patrol and Sentinel “Scut”, Constantin Avornic, replied to the demand of Ziarul de Garda by means of which we wanted to find out the names of those three policemen who used the car MHA 1203 on August 1st 2008. According to him, they were: Denis Cerniuc, police sergeant, Mihai Modval, police warrant assistant officer and Ghenadie Reu, police warrant officer. Ziarul de Garda tried to talk to them, but the representatives of “Scut” told us those three were watching over Chisinau. We will come back to this subject later on.
MHA 1203 belongs to “Scut”
Required by Ziarul de Garda, the assistant officer of the General Police Station of Chisinau, Vasile Ivas, told us he knew about a case, when a citizen of Great Britain faced the same situation. “In such situations, citizens should address to the superiors of the bribed policemen”, the assistant officer told us, wondering why people don’t announce MHA about the cases of policemen bribing.
At the same time, Vasile Ivas didn’t offer us any data about the policemen who used the car MHA 1203 on August 1st evening. We found out the car with the registration number MHA 1203 belonged to the Regiment of Patrol and Sentinel “Scut” of the General Police Station from Chisinau.
Published in Romanian on September 18th 2008
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