BREAKING NEWS: The General Prosecutor’s Office Started a Criminal Investigation on an Electricity Procurement Scheme that Damaged the State Budget with 12 Million Dollars. Dodon and Greceanîi Would Be Involved
The General Prosecutor’s Office announced on Monday, September 13, that they initiated criminal proceedings against the embezzlement of state financial means through schemes in the process of importing electricity in Moldova. According to several energy experts, the former president of Moldova, Igor Dodon, and the socialist president of the dissolved Parliament, Zinaida Greceanîi, would be involved.
According to the General Prosecutor’s Office, the 2008 management of the Ministry of Economy and Infrastructure and the National Agency for Energy Regulation would be involved in the scheme, and the damage approximates 12 million dollars.
The note issued by the General Prosecutor’s Office:
During the criminal investigation, it was established that, at the beginning of 2008, the decision makers of Energocom, the company responsible for providing Moldova with electricity, by prior agreement and in agreement with the officials of the Ministry of Economy and Infrastructure, National Agency for Regulation in Energy, as well as other people, including from abroad, would have implemented a criminal scheme through which they would have embezzled state money worth 11,927,173 US dollars.
According to the materials, the implemented scheme would have allowed the people involved to embezzle state money through the method of unfounded increase of the purchase price of electricity and the appropriation of the price difference. Given the complexity of the case, whose legal object concerns the energy security of the state, by the Ordinance of the Prosecutor General, it was ordered to carry out the criminal investigation by a group of prosecutors from the General Prosecutor’s Office.
In November 2020, Ziarul de Gardă wrote that the citizens of Moldova would have been damaged, in 2008, by 14.5 million dollars as a result of an electricity procurement scheme. At least that’s what several energy experts said then. According to them, the former president Igor Dodon, in 2008, Minister of Economy, and the Socialist President of the Parliament, Zinaida Greceanîi, in 2008, Prime Minister, would have been involved in the scheme.
In 2020, experts noted that a criminal case had been opened but it was closed one month after the testimony was given without investigation.
In June, the representatives of the General Prosecutor’s Office issued a note announcing that the verifications on these actions started on May 5, following the cancellation of the refusal order to start the criminal investigation on this case, issued in 2017.
Anticorruption.md journalists published an article in which they mentioned that the former president Igor Dodon and the former leader of the Democratic Party, Vlad Plahotniuc, will be criminally investigated in the case regarding the intermediaries from the fraudulent scheme for the import of electricity from 2008. This business was uncovered in a journalistic investigation by reporters from the Center for Journalistic Investigations. The expert Sergiu Tofilat, one of the experts who made the necessary steps to the prosecutors to start the criminal investigation against Igor Dodon, told Anticoruptie.md about this.
During a trial that took place on Monday at the Ciocana Court, the prosecutors withdrew their order to close the criminal case and reopened the case. In the scheme in which it was known that Igor Dodon and Zinaida Grecianîi were involved, links were now found that lead to Vlad Plahotniuc.
In November 2020, the expert Tudor Șoitu reported in a press conference that, until April 2008, Moldova imported electricity directly from the Ukrainian supplier – Ukrinterenergo at a price of four cents per kWh. In March of the same year, however, the intermediary Energo Partner appeared in the scheme. It happened after Igor Dodon, then Minister of Economy negotiated this contract.
Dodon was appointed head of the negotiating group by a decree signed in April 2008 by Zinaida Greceanîi, who held the post of prime minister. The agreement was signed by Alexandr Gusev, who was then director of Energocom. After that, Gusev was promoted to Moldovagaz.
According to the expert, in May 2008, Energo Partner supplied 30% of its energy at a price of 5.3 cents / kWh. The remaining 70% was supplied by Ukrinterenergo at a price of 4 cents / kWh. In July, the intermediary company already delivered 72% of energy at a higher price, and since October it has raised the price from 5.3 to 5.8 cents / kWh.
Thus, only in the period May – December 2008, the company Energo Partner obtained a profit of 14.5 million dollars on the energy price difference. Șoitu recalled that in a TV show, Dodon admitted that he personally negotiated that contract.
In his turn, the energy expert Sergiu Tofilat stated that with the implementation of the respective scheme, the electricity tariff increased by 12%. As a result, in 2017 the experts filed a complaint with the Prosecutor’s Office.
Then, according to the expert, the case was distributed to the prosecutor Lilian Bacalâm, but, one month after the testimony was given, the prosecutor closed the case, without informing any of the people who filed the complaint.
Sergiu Tofilat said then that he requested the resumption of the criminal investigation in the case and that prosecutor Lilian Bacalâm be held accountable.