Ghost accounts and hidden assets: Ex-deputy minister's luxury car and the enigma of 400 thousand euros
Sursa: Moldstreet

 An ex-deputy minister of the Economy is being referred to justice for false statements. According to the accusers, he intentionally included false data in his declarations of wealth and personal interests. These false statements involved the existence of bank accounts that did not exist and the acquisition of financial means from the sale of properties that never took place. Additionally, he failed to disclose several immovable assets owned in both the Republic of Moldova and Romania, a luxury vehicle, and several bank accounts with a turnover exceeding 400,000 euros. The criminal investigation was initiated in November 2021 by the Anticorruption Prosecutor's Office, following an investigative report by The investigation focuses on Vitalie Iurcu, who served as the former general manager at Moldtelecom SA and later as deputy minister and secretary of state within the Ministry of Economy. reported on the luxurious lifestyle maintained by Iurcu. Furthermore, investigations by the reporters of the Center for Investigative Journalism (CIJM) revealed that many public procurement contracts awarded by SA Moldtelecom were won by Iurcu's friends and business partners through a group of companies. Under Iurcu's leadership, no public procurement passed through the official system, and information about tender results was not made public.

The Anticorruption Prosecutor's Office has submitted the criminal case for substantive examination to the court, charging the ex-deputy minister with the crime of falsifying statements. According to the evidence gathered, the accused deliberately included false data in his wealth and personal interest declarations between 2016 and 2019. This included fictitious bank accounts and the alleged sale of properties from a luxury residential block in Chisinau, which the accused claimed to have invested in during the years 2014-2017. However, these transactions never took place. The accused also intentionally omitted several assets, such as agricultural land in the district of Orhei, acquired in 2018 and registered in his wife's name, as well as a construction plot in Romania worth over 350,000 lei.

Furthermore, the accused failed to disclose a luxury vehicle owned through an affiliated company, purchased in 2017 for approximately 700,000 lei. He also omitted seven accounts held in an Austrian bank with a turnover of over 400,000 euros, as well as assets worth $50,000 held in a non-resident company in Belize registered under his wife's name.

The criminal acts of the ex-state secretary of the Ministry of Economy and Infrastructure were uncovered and investigated through a comprehensive set of actions carried out by the Anticorruption Prosecutor's Office, with support from SPIA, SIS, ARBI, and the relevant legal bodies in Romania through rogatory commission requests.

The accused has admitted to the committed acts but has characterized them as mistakes. The criminal case has been forwarded to the Chisinau Court, Buiucani headquarters, for substantive examination.

For the crime committed, the law stipulates a punishment of a fine ranging from 20,000 to 30,000 lei or imprisonment for up to one year, along with the deprivation of the right to hold certain positions or engage in specific activities for a period of 2 to 5 years.

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