• OPINION POLL: Six Years of Investigation in the $1 Billion Theft. Where’s the Billion?

    OPINION POLL: Six Years of Investigation in the $1 Billion Theft. Where’s the Billion?
    12 December 2020 | 08:16

    There are new charges in the stolen $1 billion case.  The Anticorruption  with Prosecutor’s Office for combating organized crime detained on Friday six people, including the former administrators of the three robbed banks (Banca de Economii, Unibank, Banca Socială), and figures of the Shor Holding. According to the General Prosecutor’s Office, the six were detained for 30 days and are under criminal investigation on charges of fraud and money laundering in the interest of a criminal organization.

    Six years of investigation. Where’s the billion?

    Alexandru Slusari, deputy

    The detainees are executors, who have been detained before. The Parliamentary Commission of Inquiry investigated them too. Nobody touches the real beneficiaries. They remain free and their cases have not even been sent to Court. The same thing happens with state dignitaries, who through their actions or inactions paved the way for the robbery of the banking system. Six years after the theft, the people remained only with the electoral promises of some demagogic politicians, and with the inability of prosecutors to do their job and with the billions, which we pay annually out of our own pockets to recover the theft which took place in 2013-2014.

    Sergiu Mocanu, “Anti-Mafia” Political Movement

    After all, the prosecutors must answer this question. As long as oligarch Plahotniuc was in Moldova and they were good partners with businessman Shor, they also had common prosecutors: former prosecutors Viorel Morari and Eduard Harunjen. They also built the theft version saying that Filat, Platon, and other lesser-known figurants stole the billion. As Stoianoglo became General Prosecutor, the investigations followed  the main perpetrators of the robbery, Plahotniuc and Shor. We will consider that the Prosecutor’s Office has completed its mission in the billion case when both the main culprits of theft, Plahotniuc and Shor, and the witnesses against them, Filat and Platon, but also the former administrators of the three banks that are also beneficiaries of the robbery, will end up in jail. I agree that things do not look as we expected, but I think the investigation is on the right track.

    Valentin Dolganiuc, political analyst

    I also wonder: where is the billion? Dodon changed the Prosecutor General, the Chief Prosecutor for Anticorruption, the Supreme Security Council team, assigning him exceptional powers to solve the case. The stolen billion remains stolen. First of all, because those who stole it did not steal it to return it. Secondly,  the competent institutions are just fillers in solving the case. Shor’s case has been dragging on for a long time at the Cahul Court of Appeal. What does this mean? Plahotniuc – given in international search. Where is Plahotniuc? No case has been sued by Stoianoglo, and Dodon remains safe. Things are not more optimistic even after the fall of Dodon, at least as long as he controls the Parliament and the Government.

    Mariana Rață, journalist

    In six years, there have been five general prosecutors, an army of about 50 prosecutors working on the case, two Kroll reports, and about six governments, yet there is no money recovered from the stolen billion. What did the prosecutors lack- information, expertise, or will? Two years ago, a former head of the Anticorruption Prosecutor’s Office, in an attempt to justify his lack of progress on this case, declared at a media forum that there are hundreds of cases and they cannot handle them all. That’s clearly, the billion file has never been a priority for prosecutors. I hope it is now, but so far Mr. Stoianoglo has not convinced us. The files are missing in Court. It is probably extremely complicated to investigate a case in which suspects are important figures from the government, superiors or former heads in the justice system. While the billion is being spent, there are more than 50 postponements in the Shor case, and the only ones convicted of theft are now free and demanding compensation for the damages because their files would have been fabricated. The billion dollar theft still costs us a lot: the salaries of prosecutors, judges, the Kroll investigators. Who takes pays for them?

    AUTHOR MAIL

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