"Shor's mercenaries" on trial: Who are the seven men accused of organizing mass disturbances?

Viorica Mija

On Thursday, May 4, the seven men from the northern region of the Republic of Moldova, who were arrested at the beginning of March during the protests of the Shor party, will stand trial. The case is being handled by the judge Sergiu Stratan at the Chisinau Court, Buiucani headquarters.

"The accused individuals are Moldovan citizens, aged between 21 and 39, and they are charged with belonging to an organized criminal group. They reside in the northern part of Moldova, including Balti, and three of them have previous records of law violations and have been investigated for theft and robbery. Their arrest was carried out after they were apprehended at the scene by officers from the National Investigation Inspectorate (INI) and the General Directorate for Public Order (DGUP) of the General Police Inspectorate (IGP), with the support of "Fulger" employees, while they were engaged in actions aimed at destabilizing the situation in Chisinau," explained the prosecutors.

It should be noted that on March 10, the police conducted searches at the homes of several individuals involved in organizing the protests, who were suspected of instigating mass destabilization. As a result of these searches, $11,000, 400 euros, handcuffs, a substance with the characteristic smell of marijuana, draft documents, communication devices, and information storage devices were seized.

Among the individuals whose homes were searched were also individuals who had been in Turkey, where they received training in provoking mass disorder and resisting law enforcement, using pyrotechnic articles and weapons during the protests they intended to organize. The searches also targeted individuals who had used force against law enforcement officers and blocked traffic on the Cricova-Chișinău route during the protest on February 28.

The day before, on March 9, law enforcement officers conducted several searches of the so-called couriers of the Shor party, who were responsible for recruiting participants for the protests. Over 2.5 million lei and 50,000 euros were seized in a case related to the illegal financing of the party by an organized criminal group. The money was intended for transportation costs and remuneration for individuals participating in the party's organized protest actions.

As a result of these actions, three individuals involved in receiving and transporting the money were arrested.

During the searches carried out in the autumn of 2022, the authorities seized over 4.5 million lei and $4,000, which were intended for paying individuals participating in the protests, transportation expenses, and salaries for party members in cash envelopes.

Viorica Mija

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