“Russian laundromat” schemes revealed by the Anti-corruption Prosecution

Anticoruptie.md
21/09/2016
Prima etapă a schemei din prezentarea Procuraturii Anticorupție

Anticorruption prosecutors have started 16 criminal cases against 16 judges and other four -against four judicial executors, all of them are investigated for complicity in the so-called Russian laundery. In all, the National Anticorruption Centre performed 51 searches. 18 people - 15 magistrates and three judicial executors are in remand at CNA. Prosecutors would ask warrants after 72 hours of arrest. Details were provided in a press conference Wednesday, September 21, by Viorel Morari, head of Anticorruption Prosecution and Bogdan Zumbreanu, head of the criminal investigation division of the National Anticorruption Centre.

„In the first stage, 2 off-shore companies, a debtor and a creditor were concluding a loan contract on a certain sum, for example 250 million dollars. As a rule, this was the smallest sum.  The companies were represented by citizens of Ukraine in all cases.  The second stage:  these companies- the debtor and creditor- sign a guarantee contract and a citizen of Moldova was included as a guarantor, as a rule, from the category of socially vulnerable people or from the transnistrian region. Third stage: the goal of the private person guarantor was to identify other citizens (guarantors), to sign contracts with four companies from Russia, which were to return the money, in case of failure to fulfill the contractual conditions. The fourth stage of the scheme represents the failure to honor the contractual actions and the appealing to court by the creditor, who was citizen of Moldova. A citizen of Moldova acted as a defendant. It was necessary to ensure that cases are dealt with in this country”, said Viorel Morari.

The court accepted the petition. „ The money was collected at the expense of the companies from Russia, through Moldinconbank, under court order. The judicial executor addressed to Moldinconbank where companies that were guarantors and guaranteed with own funds the performance of the contract between the two operators in the offshore jurisdiction.  Money of Russian companies reached the correspondent accounts of this bank", said the head of the Anticorruption Prosecutor's Office.

Subsequently, the money from the account of judicial executors was sent to creditors, i.e. offshore companies, after which the money was transferred to other companies.

"The criminal investigation was started last week after links between different people were established. (...) We are at the stage of solving a puzzle, we investigate and add parts. The more we advance in the investigation, the more evidence we can manage, which is why, we are more aggressive", said Viorel Morari.

Head of Anti-Corruption Prosecution avoided confirming whether his employees detained judges whose names were published in the press on the day of detention. Also, Morari did not want to comment on Veaceslav Platon’s involvement in these schemes and did not say  if the businessman provided necessary information for initiating criminal proceedings. "We do not want to give more details about the evidence gathered because the statements made by some have disrupted the prosecution process", said Viorel Morari.

Earlier, Ziarul National in partnership with the Center for Investigative Journalism revealed in an investigation that during 2010 - 2014, Moldova was transformed into a true "laundery" of large amounts of money from Russian Federation. Scheme included 17 Moldovan magistrates who have legalized illegal profits. Many of the judges, who gave verdicts on these cases, were involved in the raider attacks in Moldova's banking system, but they were allowed to quit honorably the judiciary.

„Moldovan scheme”  of millions of dollars legalization from Russia was carried out as following: based on the requests of offshore companies in the UK, Belize, USA, South Africa, New Zealand and Scotland, moldovan magistrates compelled the Russian companies and Moldovan citizens to return  debts of millions of dollars. 23 Moldovan citizens were involved in this scheme, some of them did not realize about the “deal” after they put signature on blank sheets in exchange for a few hundred dollars.

 

Anticoruptie.md
21/09/2016

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