Eight former civil servants are alleged to have caused material damage to the state in the amount of more than 392 million lei. The Anticorruption Prosecutor's Office has concluded the criminal investigation into another segment of the investigation concerning the concession of the Chisinau International Airport State Enterprise. The accusers have not given names, but according to some sources, the civil servants in question were from the Iurie Leancă Government, which was interim in 2013 when the transaction was concluded. The Minister of Economy at the time was Valeriu Lazăr, and the director of the Public Property Agency (APP) was Tudor Copaci. In recent years, the team at the Center for Investigative Journalism has carried out several investigations on the subject of the Chisinau Airport concession, uncovering fraudulent schemes, interests, and procedures. The investigations can be read HERE and HERE.
"In the framework of the criminal case, eight public persons and individuals with positions of public dignity, namely a former Prime Minister of the Republic of Moldova, a former Minister of Economy, a former director of the Public Property Agency, a former deputy director of the Public Property Agency, a former deputy head of the Department within the Public Property Agency, a former acting general director of ÎS International Airport Chisinau, a former financial director of ÎS International Airport Chisinau, and the head of the economic analysis service of ÎS International Airport Chisinau, have been accused of committing the offense provided for by art. 327 para. (3) of the Criminal Code (abuse of office)," the accusers note.
In order to recover the damage caused, the Anticorruption Prosecutor's Office, in conjunction with ARBI CNA, applied seizure on the goods and assets of the accused, amounting to almost 29 million lei.
In November 2022, the Chisinau Court of Appeal upheld the decision of the Chisinau Court, which recognized the Airport concession contract by SRL Avia-Invest as null. The decision of the court of appeal is enforceable from the moment of its pronouncement. This was after the Public Property Agency filed a summons against Societăță Comerciale Avia Invest SRL, through which it requested the recognition of the nullity of the contract dated August 30, 2013, for the concession of the assets under the management of the Chisinau International Airport State Enterprise and the related land.
Back in February, the Avia-Invest SRL company, controlled by Ilan Șor, the main suspect in the 2014 bank fraud case, lost the lawsuit initiated against the Public Property Agency regarding the cancellation of the Chisinau International Airport asset concession contract. The decision was taken on February 21 by the Chisinau Court, Râscani headquarters.
We would like to remind you that on July 8, 2020, the Public Property Agency sent a notification to SRL Avia Invest announcing the resolution of the contract for the concession of the assets of ÎS Aeroportul International Chișinău. This was due to the concessionaire's failure to honor the contractual obligation to provide a guarantee of good execution of the investment commitments. Later, SRL Avia Invest took legal action against APP after the institution rejected the request to cancel the resolution notice.
APP previously stated that it terminated the contractual relationship with SRL Avia Invest as a result of the non-execution of contractual obligations.
"In the process of terminating the contract, APP respected all of SRL Avia Invest's rights with regard to the terms and methods of setting up the performance guarantee. However, SRL Avia Invest failed to fulfill its contractual obligations, which led to APP's obligation to terminate the concession contract to avoid liability for inaction regarding the implementation of the contract. SRL Avia Invest was required to carry out the investments from its own sources, not those accumulated from charging the 9 euro per passenger tariff. Moreover, SRL Avia Invest did not provide any financial information about the cost base of the airport fee of 9 euros per passenger, nor any confirmatory calculations regarding the impact of the airport tax on its investments," the source stated.
The Chisinau Airport concession agreement was signed under non-transparent conditions on August 30, 2013, between the Public Property Agency and the Avia Invest company. Avia Invest was founded on August 2, 2013, with a share capital of 85.1 million lei, divided equally between the Russian companies Khabarovski Airport and Kolomenski Zavod.
In September 2019, the government led by Maia Sandu repealed four decisions made between 2012-2013 regarding the concession of Chisinau International Airport. These decisions included the initiation of the public-private partnership project for the concession of Chisinau Airport, the approval of the concession of assets of the airport, the approval of the Report on the progress and results of the tender for the selection of the concessionaire of the assets, as well as the reconfirmation of the approval of the concession of the assets of the Chisinau International Airport State Enterprise.
Later, the Public Property Agency filed a summons against the Avia Invest SRL Commercial Company to request the recognition of the nullity of the contract dated August 30, 2013. The contract was for the concession of the assets under the management of the Chisinau International Airport State Enterprise and the related land.