The case of the five magistrates, investigated for corruption and acquitted after almost three years of investigations and court hearings, is a stark example of how law enforcement bodies ‘fight’ corruption in Moldova.
The General Prosecutor’s Office detained two deputies on charges of involvement in the billion-dollar bank fraud, in the fraudulent concession of Chișinău International Airport, and influence peddling. Since then, the public space inquires whether the prosecutors will manage to bring the cases to the court.
Some say that prosecutors will succeed, regardless of the evidence and arguments. As the new head of state came to office with promises to fight corruption and cleanse official institutions of dubious dignitaries, the Prosecutor’s Office should prove its support of this strategy. Others claim detaining the two Shor Party deputies is just a political game, because supposedly money decides a lot in the Prosecutor’s Office, just as in other legal structures, and those detained under serious allegations of corruption, as well as the party they represent, have got enough financial means. In fact, let us remember the fate of other arrests in the same billion-dollar bank fraud case.
There are still others, who invoke a scheme devised by the controversial Veaceslav Platon, who would be craving to get back dividends he once lost at the banking Victoriabank. Other voices say that the detention of the two deputies after almost ten years from the event would be an attempt to mimic the compromised act of justice in Moldova.
The prosecutors are more interested in the case of Viorel Bîrca, the former interim president of the bank institution Banca de Economii, accused of embezzlement of foreign assets in particularly large proportions.
They renewed a case, disjointed from the billion-dollar case, which includes a former Chief and a former special administrator of the National Bank of Moldova Directorate. In the case of the banking system employees, the prosecutors motivate that they allegedly committed acts of fraud in particularly large proportions and in the interest of a criminal organization. According to the prosecutors, we find out that in November 2014, the two, acting jointly with the criminal organization’s members, allegedly stole 10 million US dollars and 8 million euros from the interbank investments granted by Moldindconbank and Moldova Agroindbank to the National Bank of Moldova (BEM). The guarantee for the reimbursement of these interbank investments was 35% of the Victoriabank shares, pledged by the company INSIDOWN LTD (Cyprus), affiliated to controversial businessmen Vladimir Plahotniuc and Ilan Shor, for the benefit of Moldindconbank and Moldova Agroindbank. On November 28, 2014, the debts of BEM to Agroindbank and Moldindconbank (8 million EUR and 10 million USD) were repaid from the state-guaranteed emergency loan account. However, the operation was carried out without repaying the amounts from the pledged assets, which guaranteed the repayment and the pledge. 35% of Victoriabank shares, was released in the interest of the criminal organization.
We can only suspect that the detention of the two deputies is part of the same banking fraud investigation. In both cases, they invoke an organization and a criminal group. Even an unqualified person knows that any such structure has leaders. These heads continue to enjoy their lives overseas, and the prosecutors mime investigations and arrests of some of their accomplices, whom, after a while, they release based on lack of evidence.
The case of the five magistrates, investigated for corruption and acquitted after almost three years of investigations and court hearings, is a sharp example of how law enforcement bodies supposedly fight corruption in Moldova.