Accusations of raider attacks were resumed in Moldova. On March 26, the businessman Vladimir Russu, who came to public attention after he sold the famous “White House” located in Chișinău to Iurie Luncașu, one of Vladimir Plahotniuc’s closest friends, accused Veaceslav Platon, another controversial businessman of raider attack.
Russu stated in a press conference that, through court decisions, two real estates owned by a company managed by him, namely Fashion House on Ștefan cel Mare Boulevard and the ASITO building on Bănulescu-Bodoni Street were offered to the controversial businessman Veaceslav Platon “for safekeeping and use”. In reply, Platon stated that the two real estates would be “the assets that Plahotniuc tried to legalize through his partner, Vladimir Russu.”
ZdG consulted the official information from the cadastral service to identify the owners of the two buildings in the center of Chișinău and found that both buildings, following some ordinances, were transferred for “safekeeping and use” to two companies affiliated to Veaceslav Platon.
The buildings worth millions in the center of Chișinău, given for use to two firms affiliated with Platon
Continental Business Invest, which belongs to the family of Vladimir Russu, is the owner of the former headquarters of the insurance company ASITO. In February and March 2021, through ordinances issued by judges and prosecutors, the real estate was transferred for use to Pavrapid SRL, a company founded and managed by a certain Mihail Cuciuc. On March 5, the building was seized following an order issued by a criminal investigation officer. Previously, by court order, the building was offered for “safekeeping and use” to Pavrapid SRL.
SCM Development Mol has owned the Fashion House building since May 2020. The company was founded by Vladimir Russu’s family the very day it purchased the building from Continental Business Invest. As in the case of the ASITO building, on the same dates and following the same ordinances, the building was transferred “for safekeeping and use” to Interprimcolect. The company has its legal address in Comrat and is founded and managed by Alexei Libacov. Earlier, he was witness in the cases in which Platon was tried, convicted, and then released from detention.
“We were not informed about the ordinances issued and about the seizures. I found out about it by chance, when I checked the cadastral service. We were subjected to a raider attack. Neither Mr. Russu nor the representatives of his companies have been summoned to be heard in this case, in which Mr. Platon is allegedly an injured party. It is an obvious expropriation of Mr. Vladimir Russu’s companies,” says the lawyer Sergiu Istrati, who represents Russu’s interests.
The two buildings in the center of Chișinău were bought by Russu during the period when he was selling the “White House” to Luncașu, Plahotniuc’s close friend
Both assets became the property of a company affiliated with Vladimir Russu in 2017, shortly after the “White House”, an imposing building in Chișinău, attributed to Vladimir Plahotniuc, passed from the ownership of Russu’s company to that of an offshore, represented in Chișinău by Iurii Luncașu, a businessman close to Plahotniuc, who, in the meantime, died in dubious conditions. Prosecutors determined that he had allegedly committed suicide shortly after Plahotniuc fled the country and his regime fell.
In March 2017, Vladimir Russu became the owner and administrator of Continental Business Invest SRL, founded in January by Capital Investments SRL, a company that purchased several buildings in Chișinău for the last few years. Continental Business Invest became the owner of the two buildings in January 2017, just two months before Russu took over the company. On January 4, 2017, the company then owned by Capital Investments SRL received from the parent company the former Fashion Center. On the same date, it received the building in which the ASITO Insurance Company has its headquarters.
In the press conference held on March 26, Vladimir Russu stated that he would have purchased the two buildings for 6 million euros, and later invested another 3 million euros for the repair. Russu said that the buildings yield annual revenues of about 1 million euros.
Platon and the prosecutors reject the accusations. Prosecutors blame judges
However, Veaceslav Platon rejects the accusations of raider attack.
“I expected Vladimir Plahotniuc to come out at a press conference and declare that I took over the building he had stolen from me. However, it was his business partner, Vladimir Russu, who came out. Plahotniuc tried to legalize the Fashion House and the ASITO buildings, and the Victoriabank assets, which he had stolen from me. Plahotniuc uses Vladimir Russu and hides the fact that he transferred his assets to Russu: the assets received by Plahotniuc by a reverse transaction are the assets that had been stolen from me and sent to Vladimir Russu. Mr. Russu is his business partner, the one who sold him the so-called “White House” and he presents himself as an honest buyer,” Platon told ZdG.
The prosecutors deny Vladimir Russu’s criticism.
“In this case, the prosecutors applied precautionary measures: seizure and recognition as a criminal body of the goods that constitute the object of the crime. Subsequently, the injured party requested permission to use and own the goods; the request was rejected by the prosecutors responsible for the case and maintained by the hierarchically superior prosecutor. Examining the appeals against the documents of the prosecutors’ office, the investigating judge, supported by the magistrates from the Chișinău Court of Appeal, ordered the prosecutors to transmit the specified goods for use to a certain party. The prosecutors complied, this being the only procedural option,” the prosecutors stated.