General Prosecutor’s Office opened a criminal case for smuggling anabolic steroids

Mariana Colun

The prosecutors started a criminal case, after the Customs Service reacted to the scheme of smuggling anabolic steroids, described in detail in a notification published on Corruption Map. This information was confirmed for the portal by Maria Vieru, spokesperson of the General Prosecutor’s Office.

„The General Prosecutor’s Office is investigating the facts of smuggling anabolic steroids in a criminal case that started 2 months ago. Other details cannot be made public at this stage, not to endanger the smooth development of the criminal case”, says Maria Vieru.

Sergiu Cibotaru, former head at financial control and audit of Posta Moldovei (Moldova Post) said on Wednesday, April 6, in the show "Interpol" on TV7 channel that some employees of Posta Moldovei use this scheme for money laundering.

I discovered a corruption scheme in this institution in 2012.  Packages   sealed by the institution were sent daily through Posta Moldovei to US and Canada. The packages contained anabolic steroids, though they wrote that these were books or cosmetics. 200 grams of anabolic steroids cost between 300 and 1.500 dollars on the black market. Up to 800 packages are sent daily and 7 million are seized every day”, said former head at financial control and audit of Posta  Moldovei .

The Prosecution said that would consider Cibotaru’s statements. „ As for the statements made yesterday in a TV program by an employee of the State Enterprise Posta Moldovei, they will be considered under the criminal case and we will start investigation to confirm eventual illegal actions”,  said Maria Vieru.

On April 6, Vitalie Vrabie, head of the Customs Service said for 2 TV channels that he was not informed over this issue, though in later March, the Center for Investigative Journalism received a reply from the Customs Service, signed by the head of the institution that confirms „a high participation of public authorities and sometimes, the impossibility to perform a detailed customs control” in the scheme of smuggling anabolic steroids. According to the document, some public authorities are involved in this scheme, and this makes impossible to carry out a detailed customs control.  „Resulting from the type of activity at the State Enterprise „Posta Moldovei”, there is a range of mechanisms that allow the packaging and sealing of goods without the presence of the customs officer. Then, the packages are sent to the customs station Airport, “Cargo” sector, where they are subject to aeronautic security control and the control of the border police.  Customs authority performs visual and numerical assessment of the packages (usually postal bags)”, reports the Customs Service.  

According to information from the notification posted on the Corruption Map, high-ranking officials of the Customs, Interior Ministry, of the Service of Information and Security and businessmen in pharmaceutical field are involved in a scheme to smuggle anabolic steroids. The authors of the notification argue that a bag with anabolic substances would cost about $ 50,000. The largest amount transported by people involved had been 22 sacks, which is a profit of 2.2 million euros.

Mariana Colun

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