The name of the fourth citizen about whom the director of the Public Services Agency, Mircea Eșanu, declared that he has a double identity in Moldova is, according to some sources of Ziarul de Gardă, the Russian banker Gherman Gorbunțov.
During a TV show, the director of the Public Services Agency, said that in addition to people known to the public space who would have a double identity, such as the former leader of the Democratic Party Vladimir Plahotniuc, was also identified another citizen, but without mentioning his name.
“It simply came to our notice then. At the request of the Prosecutor’s Office, we reviewed all the relevant files. There are legal grounds to obtain a double identity and there are times when it is useful. We made this filter, sent a good part of the documents, and identified another individual. He was photographed at the Global Business Center (a building belonging to the runaway oligarch Vladimir Plahotniuc ed.n.). The individual was extremely scared and he was mentioned countless times in all kinds of press investigations. I won’t give you the name. I want the Anticorruption Prosecutor’s Office, which is examining this case, to declassify it, because it is a case of public resonance and I think people deserve to know who got a double identity. I hope that the colleagues from the prosecutor’s office will not be late in making this case public. If I told you the person’s name, I would violate one of the criminal articles,” said Mircea Eșanu.
Gherman Gorbunțov obtained Moldovan citizenship in 2009, through a decree signed by the then president Vladimir Voronin. He was granted citizenship shortly after he became the majority shareholder of Universalbank in Moldova.
Earlier, Renato Usatîi publicly accused the former president of Moldova, Vladimir Voronin, of granting Gorbuntsov Moldovan citizenship by presidential decree, for a sum of 1.5 million dollars. In 2016, the leader of the Liberal Party, Mihai Ghimpu, also stated in a post on a social network that the communist leader allegedly granted the citizenship of Moldova to the Russian banker Gherman Gorbuntsov, while he was the head of state, for the sum of 1 million dollars.
In the footsteps of Gherman Gorbuntsov
In December 2019, ZdG wrote that the former president and majority shareholder of the bankrupt bank Universalbank of Moldova, in the period 2008-2011, but also a former owner of several banks in the Russian Federation, involved in money laundering and tax evasion schemes, Gherman Gorbuntsov was nicknamed by the Russian press “the black banker” for his connections with mafia structures.
Gorbuntsov was also investigated in Moldova in several criminal cases, including blackmail, attempted obstruction of justice, theft, and complicity in an attempted murder. In March 2012, he was the victim of a failed assassination attempt in London.