On April 3, 2021, a dangerous crime took place in Chișinău’s streets. In the midday, a citizen was kidnaped and taken in an unknown direction. Coincidentally, I was on that street at the time (I was looking for some medical institutions). What caught my attention was that, although it was the first day of the state of emergency, the streets were crowded and there was no place to park. Testemițeanu Street was full of people, each with his/her own business, especially since there are many hospitals and medical laboratories in the area, as well as large residential complexes. There are street monitoring cameras installed on many institutions and blocks of flats. Regardless of the circumstances, a minibus stopped near a man, several men grabbed him, pushed him in, and drove away.
More terrible than the kidnapping was how the man was taken abroad. The unknown people kidnapped the man who is a prominent judge in Ukraine and took him back to his country of origin.
It is not a secret that institutions in Moldova do not work, that the customs points are smuggling filters, that the police usually detain ordinary people, and the judges convict only minor crimes. But kidnapping a man in broad daylight on a busy street and immediately transporting him to another state reveals that the authorities no longer fulfill even their basic mission of ensuring safety in public places.
I wonder how many people are kidnaped yearly and we don’t find out about them? Who will be the next victim and when our turn comes, what will we do?
In a typical state, the Minister of Interior and the Heads of the Border Police would have resigned, and an investigation on their responsibility would have started immediately. In comparison, nothing happened in Chișinău. Pavel Voicu, the head of the Ministry of Interior, is calm, and his comrade, Petru Corduneanu, deputy head of the Border Police, seems to be even more relaxed.
I am writing this on April 7, 2021, when we have another sad anniversary of the unpunished torturers in 2009. Therefore, I want to focus specifically on how in this state people accused of torture, murder, and corruption are advancing in their career.
Petru Corduneanu has always been the man of the Soviet police system. He has worked in the system since Soviet times, and the year the USSR collapsed, Corduneanu was studying at a high school of criminal investigation in Volgograd, Russia. Everyone knows that Soviet schools of investigators were affiliated with the Russian secret service system.
In April 2009, Petru Corduneanu was an important official at the Ministery of Interior, being responsible for public order. Just then, hundreds of young people complained of street abduction, ill-treatment in police basements, trial in the same police cells without a lawyer, and lack of transparent information.
After the infamous events of April 2009, prosecution institutions accused Corduneanu, along with other torturers in the system, of exceeding his authority and opened a criminal case on him. The case dragged through courts until it was filed, and Corduneanu left the system for a while, entering politics. He joined the pro-Russian Socialist Party and managed to get in the Chișinău Municipal Council first, then in the Parliament, and later the Socialists Party appointed him deputy to the Border Police. In 2020, pro-Kremlin president Igor Dodon awarded Corduneanu the Order of Faith to the Motherland. The former president probably had no medal of Faith to the Soviet Militsiya.
Corduneanu took the path of nomenklatura: schooled by secret services in Russia. He is part of the Moldovan system, he receives salaries and other benefits, he commits abuses, and when he is finally accused and held accountable – Corduneanu manages to escape due to other corrupt people in the system.
In 2021, Petru Corduneanu, deputy head of the Border Police, manages Moldova’s border with the EU. An official who studied at a police school in Volgograd, Russia, controls the border with the EU and Romania; with which Moldova has Agreements of Association and Cooperation, from where Moldova receive support, vaccines, financial and logistical assistance. Likewise, this former Soviet police official watches over the permeable border between Moldova and Ukraine, with the entire breakaway Transnistrian region, with all the illegally stationed Russian armaments and armies.
Such an exponent of the system can ensure neither the modernization and Europeanization of Moldova nor the security of citizens.