Integrity

Hidden properties, businesses and interests of heads of state agencies (III)

Colaj și Foto CIJM. În imagini apar casele și blocurile în care locuiesc Ion Prisăcaru, Valeriu Baciu, Victor Cebotari, Octavian Lungu și Iurie Onică
Author: Mariana Colun
29/01/2016 24996

Governments in Chisinau fell one by one which led to frequent changes in the leadership of state agencies. The Center for Investigative Journalism has previously revealed the property of heads of Ministries. Further, you will see that current directors of agencies contend for properties. One third of them came to public attention as their properties exceeded their real incomes. The majority of directors of agencies have profitable businesses which are hidden. Some state directors are listed as managers of their companies, which is prohibited by law. 

The first and second part of the investigation revealed the businesses and properties of 22 directors of state agencies in Moldova. Many of them came to power on political criteria and gathered huge properties, though officially they hand in modest statements. In this investigation, we present details about the properties and interests of other 17 directors of some important institutions.

Victor Cebotari, director of the State Registration Chamber, with hidden companies

Victor Cebotari. Photo: cis.gov.md

Victor Cebotari has been director of the State Registration Chamber (SRC) since 2010. Following the last statement on incomes and properties for 2014, the functionary received a salary estimated at 283.000 lei, a plot which he got in 2001 and an apartment with 66, 6 square meters purchased in 1991. His apartment has a cadastral value worth 378.000 lei. Also, he has a house of 147 square meters, purchased in 2001 worth 1, 7 million lei. Under a RISE Moldova investigation, real estate experts estimated Cebotari’s house at 6, 5 million lei. The family of the director from SRC owns 2 cars: Mercedes, 2008 purchased at the price of 18.000 lei and Mitsubishi, purchased in 2013 at the price of 320.000 lei. Officially, this exceeds the salary of the functionary for one year.

The house of Victor Cebotari. Photo: CIJM

In August 2015, CNI started a control on the name of Victor Cebotari, as he hid many properties and some companies. Following the income statements filed by him in 2012 and 2013, neither he nor his wife Svetlana Cebotari own shares in a commercial society. Data of the institution he manages shows that Cebotari owns 20% in Vadares-Plus SRL, and his wife is a manager and founder of the company Agrosmix-Grup SRL. In November, 2014 RISE Moldova wrote that the company is located in an apartment of the family Cebotari. Company Agrosmix-Grup SRL, that is the „only producer of expanded and briquetted cereals in the Republic of Moldova”, owns the brand „Haiduc”. In late 2012, the company was investigated by the Public Health Center in municipality Chisinau as it activated with violations from sanitary norms. "Here, the finished product (bread „Haiduc”) was partially preserved on the floor. Hot running water and disinfectants missed in the production room. The equipment was not cleaned on time and the rooms were not cleaned up enough. Medical cards and certificates of hygiene training courses for employees involved in the production process could not be presented ",  reads  a press release issued in December 2012.Except the companies which he missed in previous statement, but which he mentioned in the last statement on incomes and properties,  members of CNI found that  Victor Cebotari did not declare in the income statement a plot (near his house), 1/5  share in an apartment with 89,3 square meters, 2.073 shares in a stock company, estimated at over 292.000 de lei.

Mihail Stratan, director of the Energy Efficiency Agency, with hidden interests

Mihail Stratan. Photo: bani.md

Mihail Stratan was elected director of the Energy Efficiency Agency (AEE) in April 2011.  Both members of CNI and journalists started investigations on his name. In March 2014, journalists from Clean Moldova portal wrote that a company founded by Mihail Stratan won a public tender of energy equipment purchase for AEE estimated at over 44.000 euro.  The National Integrity Commission said that the functionary violated the legal regime of the conflict of interests. The director of the Agency contested the act of CNI and regarded it as „aberration”, wrote the journalists. Though SRL Lokmera offered the lowest price, company SRL Esco Voltaj was designated the winner, whose founder and partner is Mihail Stratan, director of the Energy Efficiency Agency.

On 28 February 2014, the CNI issued an act of finding, according to which Mihail Stratan violated the legal regime of conflict of interest when the company he founded participated in an open competition for acquisition of energy equipment for the institution he leads. Also, Mihai Stratan was suspected of holding the position of director of a company, along with the director of the Energy Efficiency Agency, these two positions are incompatible. During the research, CNI also found that AEE director has not declared two properties (apartment and plot), six bank accounts and shares in various companies. Mihail Stratan said for Clean Moldova portal that he disagrees with the decision of CNI claiming violation of legal regime of conflict of interest.

According to the latest statements on income and property, in 2014, Mihail Stratan is the owner of two plots, whose cadastral value is not declared. He has two apartments and a garage with a total cadastral value of 542,000 lei. Head of AEE has not declared any car, but he declared the status of founder with different shares in six companies.

Angela Susanu, deputy director at the Public Property Agency, with the status of defendant in the case at BEM

Angela Susanu with Tudor Copaci. Photo: capture privesc.eu

Angela Susanu has been activating at the Ministry of Economy since 2003. As of 2010, she was employed at the Public Property Agency and since December 2012, she is deputy director of this institution and performs duties of director, as officially, the Agency does not have a head. She was involved in the scandal on frauds in the financial-banking sector. Thus, in July 2015, she was declared defendant in the case at BEM. According to the prosecutors, she is charged of negligence at job in the period July- August 2013 that generated the loss of state shares at Banca de Economii.

In the statement on incomes and properties for 2014, Angela Susanu shows incomes from salary estimated at 119.000 lei and a sum of 216.000 lei from representing state interests within the boarding councils of the Information Resource Center Registru and of the State Enterprise Metalferos. Year 2014 has been prosperous for the head from Public Property and this because she took possession of 2 garages, whose cadastral value is not declared and of an apartment with 117 square meters estimated at 390.000 lei. The same sum of 390.000 is declared in the income statement for 2013, for an apartment twice smaller inherited in 2012. This one is not included in the 2014 statement as well as the incomes from an eventual sale of the real estate. Angela Susanu does not declare any car or company that was registered on her or her husband’s name.

Iurie Carp, director of the Tourism Agency, forgot to declare one company

Iurie Carp. Photo: ansa.gov.md

Iurie Carp was elected director of the Tourism Agency in mid-August 2015. Also, Carp  has worked for the National Food Safety Agency for 5 months. He was dismissed on grounds of blocking the exports of fruits and vegetables by the leadership of the agency. Previously, he has served other important offices. He was general director at many enterprises: A.A. Moldova-vin, Factory of wines and cognacs  S.A. Aroma and deputy director at S.A. Franzeluta. In 2014-2015, Carp was adviser of the Ministry of Transportation and Road Infrastructure.  

In his statement on property for 2014, Iurie Carp declared incomes from salary estimated at only 52.000 lei.  He owns houses, plots and cars. He has 4 apartments with a total cadastral value estimated at over one million lei, a commercial space with 124 square meters estimated at over one million lei and a house with 74 square meters purchased in 2014 against the sum of 434.000  lei and a garage. In 2014, Iurie Carp sold his house with 157 square meters which he has had since 1993, at the price of almost 1, 7 million lei and 2 cars BMW, 2001, at the price of 30.000 lei. Carp bought a car Mercedes 2012 at the price of 35.000 euro. Also, he says that he owns together with his wife over 5.000 shares in S.A. Franzeluta, 10 shares at B.C Victoriabank S.A. and 48 shares in S.A. Vitarservice. Carp forgot to declare a company which he founded together with Olesea Astrahan, Ghenadie Astrahan’s wife, head of division within the Department of Border Police. The company is Astcar-grup SRL and was founded in 2005. The National Integrity Commission (CNI) found in May 2015 that Ghenadie Astrahan forgot to declare in the income statement for 2013 the company where his wife has shares. Astrahan explained that the company is in process of liquidation since April 2006 and it has not actually operated, but was not liquidated yet. CNI closed the case as the functionary has not admitted the error on purpose.

Alexandru Pinzari, director of the Department of Penitentiary Institution, close official to Usatii

Alexandru Pinzari. Photo: penitenciar.gov.md

On October 9, 2015, colonel of justice Alexandru Pinzari was designated interim director of the Department of Penitentiary Institutions. Previously, he has served as Head of the Division of Organized Crime Combat and later on, deputy head of the Criminal Police of the General Division of the Operative Services. The name of the controversial colonel appears in an investigation carried out by RISE Moldova that reveals the relations based on money between the mayor of Balti Renato Usatii and Alexandru Jizdan, current Interior Ministry, and Alexandru Pinzari, who was his deputy at the Department of Operative Services. In an audio recording Usatii said that these 2 policemen offered information against money. Usatii’s statements are confirmed by photo captures of emails of policemen who sent him operative information within the Interior Ministry, including from the work email. Alexandru Pinzari, together with high police officers in 2004 was officially charged of aiding with the cross border nets of organized crime. They protected the group of smugglers „Caciula”, following the documents owned by Rise and signed by Gheorghe Papuc, former Interior minister. Also, Alexandru Pinzari was sanctioned for obstructing another serious corruption case: „Gemenii-Maidan”.

According to the statements on incomes and property for 2014, Pinzari received incomes worth 468.000 lei.  He has had 2 apartments, of 48 and 106 square meters respectively, since 2002 and 2009 respectively and 2 garages with 20 square meters purchased in 2009 and 2013. The colonel did not declare the cadastral value of the garage purchased in 2013 - 122.000 lei. Also, the head from the Penitentiary has 2 cars:  Volkswagen Golf, worth 30.000 lei, purchased in 2009 and a car Honda, purchased in 2007 at the price of 17.000 euro.

Mircea Maleca, director of the Civil Aviation Authority did not declare 4 companies

Mircea Maleca. Photo: tribuna.md

Mircea Maleca was designated head of the Civil Aviation Authority on August 12, 2015. Also, he has served as director of the company Air Moldova. According to the income statement for 2014, Maleca raised 702.000 lei in one year and this means over 58.000 lei per month. He declared an apartment with 58 square meters with a cadastral value estimated at 300.000 lei and 2 cars which cost more than the apartment – a car Audi, purchased in 2011 at the price of 635.250 lei and a car BMW purchased in 2013 at the price of 425.000 lei. Data from Cadastre show that the apartment of 58 square meters was sold in 2015. Family Maleca has had an apartment of 96 square meters since 2010, estimated at half of million lei, which in 2012 came into possession of Ina Meleca, his wife. This apartment is not included in the income statements of the functionary.

Current director of the Civil Aviation Authority declared that he had 50% shares in a company in Romania, specialized in trade– Avella SRL. He forgot to declare his companies which he founded in Moldova. Thus, data from the State Registration Chamber show that Maleca founded 4 companies. Together with Vladimir Topa and Natalia Pivovarova , he founded in 1997 SRL Fortissimo-Comerț. The company is specialized in accounting. Another company co-founded by Maleca is the periodical publication Независимая газета SRL established in 2001, together with Alexandr Kazakov, Victor Staric and Iuri Tiscenco, the latter is the manager of the company. Also, Mircea Maleca founded and manages the Individual Enterprise Mircea Maleca, specialized in land transport services. The 4th company co-founded by Mircea Meleca is SRL Breitman Grup, established in 2014 together with Marcel Tanas and Vera Sirbu. This company has many fields of activity including trade in food products. This is managed by the brother of the director of the Civil Aviation Authority Eugeniu Maleca.

Dumitru Stavila. Photo: hrportal.md

Dumitru Stavila, head of the State Labour Inspectorate, one of the directors of state agency with the longest mandate

Dumitru Stavila has been head of the State Labor Inspectorate for 14 years, since January 2002. The functionary has many plots and immovable properties. In his last statement on incomes and property for 2014, Stavila declared incomes estimated at 158.000 lei from salary, didactic activity, copyright and banking deposits. The family of the head from the State Labor Inspectorate owns 10 plots with a surface of about 4 hectares with a cadastral value of 50.000 lei. Also, Dumitru Stavila owns an apartment with 49 square meters with a cadastral value of 241.000 lei, a facility with 29, 5 square meters worth 357.000 lei, and one third shares in a house with 4 auxiliary constructions. Cadastral value of the house with 76, 2 square meters is 70.000 lei. According to the income statement, Dumitru Stavila does not have a car and has not founded any company. Data from the State Registration Office confirms it.

Andrei Juraveli, director of the Agency for Geology and Mineral Resources, decorated by His Holiness Vladimir

Andrei Juraveli. Photo: gov.md

Andrei Juraveli has also served as director of the Agency for Geology and Mineral Resources (AGRM) since 2012 to April current year. AGRM is subordinated to the Ministry of Environment and is specialized in regulation and coordination of study, protection and rational use of the subsoil and development of minerals exploitation in the Republic of Moldova. Juraveli has a company founded in 2008, managed by his father, Gheorghe Juraveli, specialized in services of transportation, Carpatic-Trans SRL. In the statement on incomes and property for 2014, Juraveli declared an apartment with 103 square meters purchased in 2010, whose cadastral value is 211.000 lei, a car Skoda, purchased in 2015 with a sum of 140.000 lei and a plot for construction which he got in 2014, whose cadastral value is not declared. In April 2014, Juraveli was decorated by His Holiness Vladimir for "conscientiousness and diligence in implementing reliable environmental policies and environment protection”.

Diana Balan, Head of the Department of Judicial Administration, born in a family of lawyers

Diana Balan. Photo: facebook.com

Diana Balan (Secrieru, by father) came to work for the Department of Judicial Administration immediately after the maternity leave. The functionary was born in a family of lawyers: father, Elisei Secrieru, was judge at the Court of Appeal Bender, current lawyer, sister Rodica Secrieru, is a general secretary of the Constitutional Court and her husband Andrei Balan, is former businessman, manager of a company and then he was employed at the National Agency for Food Safety. Currently, he is director of the Mediation Center at the Chamber of Commerce and Industry.  

In his last statement on incomes and property for 2014, Balan declared a plot which he inherited, 2 apartments one of 106,3 square meters with a cadastral value of 796.000  lei, registered on her husband’s name and 1/6 share in an apartment with 83,2 square meters estimated at half of million lei. The head of the Department declared a car Nissan, purchased in 2014 at the price of 10.000 lei. Family Balan has not founded any company, report data from the State Registration Chamber.

Serghei Afanasenco, director of the National Antidopping Agency

Serghei Afanasenco. Photo: cojocari.ro

Serghei Afanasenco is president of the Association of the Disabled „Invasport” and the first disabled person in the history of the Republic of Moldova who was elected minister after he came to the leadership of the Ministry of Youth and Sport in the Government Gaburici.  Afanasenco has changed 3 parties within 5 years. In 2009, he was MP in Parliament on behalf of Communist Party. In the parliamentary elections from November 2014, he was candidate on the lists of the Party „Patria”, headed by Renato Usatii. Some months later, on February 18, when the MPs voted with a new Government headed by Gaburici, Afanasenco was elected Minister of Youth and Sport and he was fielded by the Democratic Party.

The Center for Investigative Journalism together with Ziarul de Garda carried out an investigation on his name. The journalists found that according to the income statement handed in to the Central Election Commission (CEC), when Afanasenco was on the lists of Usatii, he received the salary from „Artico” and pension. The functionary declared an apartment with 47 square meters on str. Hristo Botev. Also, data from the State Registration Chamber report that Afanasenco was a manager with suspended tasks at the Joint Enterprise Prospetico. This company is founded by Oleg Topciu and by a Ukrainian citizen Oleksandr Kalenyuk and is specialized in real estate market services. In the statement on incomes and properties for 2014, Afanasenco declared the incomes from salary estimated at 32.000 lei and the apartment which he inherited.

Valeriu Baciu, director of the National Transportation Agency, manager of a company and owner of a luxury apartment

Liberal MP Valeriu Baciu was designated general director of the National Transportation Agency (ANTA) in August 2015. According to a press release issued by the Ministry of Transportation, Baciu has a vast experience in the customs and transportation service and is military colonel. Though the law says that the status of manager of a business is not compatible to that of public functionary, data from the State Registration Chamber show that Valeriu Baciu is manager of the Stock Company Transservice, company specialized in services of passengers’ transportation, trade with spare parts for vehicles and manufacturing of essential oils. The company managed by Baciu was involved in a trial in 2008 when the Ministry of transportation was called to the court and withdrew the license of the economic unit that managed the transportation route Chisinau-Soroca and conveyed rights to the company SRL Vetanision. The company lost the trial.

Here Valeriu Baciu owns a luxury three room apartment. Photo: CIJM

The journalists from Ziarul de Garda started an investigation on his name. He is the owner of a luxury three room apartment in the governmental block of flats on str. Serghei Lazo in Chisinau that was proposed for sale in 2013 at the price of 4, 7 million lei. The journalists revealed the fact that the apartment was owned by one of the former Interior Ministers, general-lieutenant of police Nicolae Bradulov, who sold it to Valeriu Baciu. Though he intended to sell it in 2013, the apartment with a surface of 143 square meters is registered in the statement on incomes and property for 2014 of Baciu but without any information about its cadastral value. The functionary has 2 houses, of 90 and 150 square meters and 7 plots. Their value is not declared in the income statement. Also, the head from ANTA has a car Mercedes  worth 380.000 lei.

Mihail Pocnea, director of the Agency for Consumers’ Protection, owns a villa and a company

Mihail Pocnea was elected director of the Agency for Consumers’ Protection in February 2015. Previously, he has worked at S.A. Moldasig and he received a salary of 27.500 lei per month and at SAR Donaris Group S.A., and he raised a monthly salary estimated at 10.000 lei. In the statement on incomes and property for 2014, Pocnea declared 2 plots purchased in 2006 and 2013 respectively at the price of 289.000 lei. Also, the functionary owns a villa of 171 square meters as of 2006 whose cadastral value is not declared and a car Lexus. The director of the Agency for Consumers’ Protection declared a company which he founded in 2014 – SRL Stop Fraud.

Ivan Gusilic. Photo: ipsstoip.md

Ivan Gusilic, Head of the Main State Inspectorate for Technical Supervision of Dangerous Industrial Objects, with properties on his wife’s name

Ivan Gusilic has been head of the Main State Inspectorate for Technical Supervision of Dangerous Industrial Objects since 2008. Following the statement on incomes and property for 2014, Gusilic declared a salary estimated at 210.000 de lei. Also, since 2003 he owns a plot estimated at 203.000 lei, registered on his wife’s name. The functionary has 3 immovable properties, all of them registered on his wife’s name: an apartment of 62 square meters with a cadastral value of 343.000 lei, a villa of 165 square meters estimated at 380.000 lei and a construction of 80 square meters estimated at 240.000 lei. The car Hyundai Tucson, purchased in 2011 at the price 160.000 lei is registered on his wife’s name.

Arcadii Calaras, teacher from Agency “Apele Moldovei”

Arcadii Calaras. Photo: facebook.com

Arcadii Calaras was promoted by the Liberal Party to the seat of Agency Apele Moldovei in August 2015. Before, he served as teacher, university assistant at the University of Moldova Science Academy. In the statement on incomes and properties for 2014, which he completed, he declared a salary worth 15.000 lei from didactic activity. The functionary has a plot and a house of 114, 4 square meters which he got in 2004 and has a cumulative value of 31.000 lei. Calaras says that he does not own a car or companies on his and his wife’s name. Data from the SRC confirm it.

Ion Cebanu, director of Moldsilva, one of the poorest directors of state agencies

Ion Cebanu. Photo: ioncebanu.wordpress.com

Ion Cebanu has been director of the Agency Moldsilva since September 2015. The functionary is the president of the Territorial Organization of the Liberal Party, subsidiary of Centru sector in Chisinau, member of the Central Permanent Bureau of the Liberal Party and president of the public Association „Optimus”.  He has worked for many state institutions. As of September 2009 to February 2013, he was Minister of Youth and Sport and then for 3 months, he was director of the same Agency which he leads until present– Moldsilva. Later on, in September 2013, he became director of Mine in Chisinau SA and he reported the salary from the statement on incomes and properties in 2014 – almost 130.000 lei. The functionary has not declared plots, real estate or cars. He has a 50% share in one company that does not operate– SRL Alexiostud.

Vitalie Verbitchi, director from the State Agency for the Protection of Morals, does not have a house

Vitalie Verbitchi has been activating at the State Agency for the Protection of Morals since 2009 and in July 2012, he was elected director of this institution. According to the statement on incomes and property for 2014, he is one of the poorest directors of state agencies. Thus, he declared an annual salary of 99.000 lei, a pension worth 9.000 lei and a car Lada, which he bought in 2007 at the price of 107.000 lei, and this exceeds his current salary for one year. The head of the State Agency for the Protection of Morals has not declared plots, real estate or shares in a company. Data from the SRC confirm it.

Lucia Ciobanu. Photo: ea.md

Lucia Ciobanu, director of Register Office: does not own a house, companies or cars

Lucia Ciobanu has been head of the Register Office for 8 years, since February 2008. She is lawyer by profession and she activates in the system of Register Office since February 1987. In her last statement on incomes and property for 2014, the functionary declared the salary estimated at 186.000 lei and the pension worth 47.000 lei. Officially, the director from the Register Office does not own any plots, house, cars and has not founded any company.

This investigation was carried out within the Campaign "Journalists for Transparency in Public Funds’ Management" organized by the Center for Investigative Journalism, with the support of the Good Governance Program of Soros Foundation Moldova. The financing institution does not influence in any way the subject and content of published investigations. 

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