This week marks the 100 days of activity of the European Public Prosecutor’s Office. During the 100 days and nights, Laura Codruța Kövesi’s office registered 1700 reported crimes and opened 300 investigations. The investigators found that the budget was prejudiced by 4.5 billion euros.
The 446 million European citizens would find that each of them was defrauded with about 10 euros. Is that much or too little? In the billion-dollar bank fraud, each Moldovan citizen was defrauded with over 350 euros each. If we take into consideration that the average salary is 350 euros per month, and the pension varies from 50 to 100 euros per month, we could see the impact of such fraud on the whole population. Even so, the heavy burden of the billion remains on the citizens, but also on the conscience of law enforcement authorities.
Moldova, the poorest state in Europe, from which a billion dollars was stolen, boasts ridiculous amounts obtained from the recovery of criminal assets, for example. About half a million euros (from a billion) would have been recovered by the Recovery of Criminal Assets Agency from bank fraud, their beneficiary being Vlad Plahotniuc.
The other state institutions are also actively involved in recovering various frauds. For example, the State Fiscal Service recently announced that it imposed fines totaling over 4,000 euros on persons who lease real estate and have not complied with legal provisions. In other words, some citizens, forced to recover the billion, who rented some houses, were also fined. Maybe they deserve, no doubt, but what about the officials who stole the public goods and have built their palaces, but they have not leased them because they like to live in style without being punished? When should the Tax Service deal with major frauds if small fraudsters can still be fined?
The General Prosecutor’s Office does not excel in investigating criminal cases and looking for ways to return the stolen billion. Although, it is obvious that the entire institution is working hard. For instance, on September 8, the General Prosecutor’s Office announced to take action against those who claim to use influence peddling. Moldova is full of corruption, maybe not everything succeeds, but the other day the prosecutors amazed us again: “Two men, suspected of trafficking in influence, were detained when they received 700 euros.” It’s not a joke, it’s the title of an official statement of the General Prosecutor’s Office in the country where people sought the billion. It would be claimed 700 euros by some men from another man, the statement said.
This week, the General Prosecutor’s Office announced another great success on its website: The mini-football team of the Prosecutor’s Office has returned from Romania with the main trophy at stake. You see, the mega-prosecutors won in mini-football. We know it can’t be generalized. There are probably good prosecutors both in football and investigations, but the performance presented publicly on the website of this institution is hilarious.
If a Romanian or European prosecutor, someone like Laura Codruța Kövesi, came to Moldova at some point to work for 100 days, it might leave at the end of this term loaded with trophies. That is the case of bank fraud files left with no attention for almost a decade. That is to fit into a mini-football stadium or a walking field in the Penitentiary.
Prosecutor General Alexandru Stoianoglo is right to leave the Supreme Security Council. He would not go there to talk about the mini-football trophy or the 700 euros claimed by the mentioned two men.