Top 20 impactful investigations, conducted by the CIJM team in 2021

Author: Cornelia Cozonac
30/12/2021 24465

In 2021, the team of the Center for Investigative Journalism (CIJM) conducted 65 journalistic investigations into corruption, embezzlement of public money, illicit property and integrity issues in the public sector. In the last months of the year, at least 7 criminal cases were started against some chief prosecutors, all based on journalistic investigations carried out by the team of the Center for Investigative Journalism. The National Integrity Authority, based on the CIJM journalistic investigations, started controls into the property of 26 civil servants, out of which 13 prosecutors, 11 judges, a counselor and an official from the UTA Gagauzia. Following investigations, candidates for important positions were forced to withdraw their candidacies.

Top 20 impactful investigations were selected based on the number of views and the reactions that followed after their publication:

  1. "VIDEO // How Rizea spends his money in Chisinau: Luxury house and car, TV business and partying at restaurants"

The investigation about how the former Romanian MP Cristian Rizea, settled in the Republic of Moldova shortly before he was sentenced to prison in Romania for corruption offenses, had the largest number of views in just a few days, over 40 thousand. He tried to set a political party in Chisinau and even run for public office, but he failed, on the grounds that he had a criminal record and that the status of citizenship of the Republic of Moldova is still uncertain. Instead, the former Romanian official successfully started public scandals, accusing left and right, officials, journalists, politicians, opinion leaders. Rizea made public all sorts of information, some apparently taken from state institutions, and others from groups dealing with the collection of compromising materials.

CIJM reporters tried to find out what Cristian Rizea was doing in Chisinau and what money he was living on, especially since he had recently announced that he would invest his money in opening a new TV channel. CIJM reporters found that Rizea lives large and enjoys luxury restaurants, although he is not employed and does not have a stable income. He bought a house worth over 450,000 euros, having as neighbors a good part of those whom he criticizes in the video recordings on social networks.

After the publication of the investigation, the former Romanian deputy verbally attacked the CIJM reporters and the portal several times. Last year, Rizea lost two lawsuits started by other journalists who were verbally attacked in his live shows.

The authorities in Bucharest have repeatedly requested, in November this year, the extradition request of the citizen Cristian Rizea, only that the Ministry of Justice in Chisinau has not yet offered an answer to the relevant institution in Romania.

2. "VIDEO // Voronin family estate in Ţiganca forest: people hired illegally for the comfort of the communist leader"

Reporters of the Center for Investigative Journalism were notified on the Corruption Map, by active citizens, about the fact that the family of the communist leader Vladimir Voronin receives daily fresh organic food from the mini-farm in Ţiganca forest, located about 800 meters away from the luxury holiday house  on the shores of the pond near the town, they went and filmed the estate seized by the former president of Moldova, after which they documented several aspects related to the legality of property and the people employed to work for Voronin's family.

The authors of the investigation found that the buildings of the Voronin family in the Ţiganca forest were built in the period 2005-2009, but they are not registered and are not found in the cadastral database. Likewise, they do not appear on the cadastral map. The investigation also revealed that many people from the surrounding villages, illegally employed, take care of the animals, the holiday house and the adjacent territory and other outhouses. The workers are supervised by a person who, according to the employees, is the forester employed by the Moldsilva State Agency.

The investigation had over 24,000 views on the CIJM portal and was cited by several media outlets.

3.  VIDEO // Scandal of the General Prosecutor’s relatives from Comrat

The investigation, carried out based on a notification on the Corruption Map on the CIJM’s portal, revealed the way in which two businessmen from Comrat were criminally investigated and subsequently sentenced to years in prison, because they got into a conflict with the relatives of the general prosecutor Alexandr Stoianoglo. The two were convicted of hooliganism last year. The case lists 10 injured police officers who were allegedly outraged. The businessmen claimed that their problems started after the appointment of Alexandr Stoianoglo as head of the General Prosecutor's Office.


The apple of discord was an amount of about 2 million euros that they allegedly lent to a cousin of the General Prosecutor Serghei Stoianoglo, deputy head of the administration of the Gagauz autonomy. The money was allegedly borrowed to buy a winery there. Alexandr and Serghei Stoianoglo denied the allegations, saying that the Aladov brothers mentioned in the investigation, were criminals. CIJM reporters analyzed more information and the case and found that Aladov brothers' case examination was doubtful.

The National Integrity Authority acted after the publication of the investigation which revealed that the deputy director of the Youth and Sports Directorate of ATU Gagauzia, Serghei Stoianoglo, who is also a member of the Electoral Commission for ATU, did not declare his business and part of his income.

The portal wrote that Serghei Stoianoglo reported in the 2019 statement on property and Personal Interests only the annual salary of a civil servant, 172,262 lei and a house offered for free living. In the State Register of Enterprises, the name of Serghei Stoianoglo appears as the founder and manager of four enterprises.

The investigation had 25 thousand views on the portal and was taken over by several media outlets.

4. DOC// Bahamas case: The manager of the company that sponsored PSRM, protected by Dodon and Stoianoglo  

The investigation revealed some ties with the Bahamas case, regarding the illegal financing of the Socialist Party, which was linked to the general prosecutor Alexandr Stoianoglo. The person who ran Westerby Limited in the Bahamas in 2016, when he sponsored the Socialist Party, was Evgheny Kheyman. From December 2016 to November 2017, he held the position of manager of the Foreign Capital Company, Natur Bravo. Kheyman has been prosecuted for embezzling foreign assets based on a complaint filed by his successor Mukhmad Galaev and sentenced with execution. Following the Socialists’ takeover of the government in November 2019 and the appointment of Alexandr Stoianoglo as General Prosecutor, Kheyman's sentence was overturned, and fraud and abuse cases were started against the denouncer and the prosecutor who handled the case.


The scheme by which the Socialist Party led by former President Igor Dodon would have benefited from sponsorships of tens of millions of lei through a company registered in the Bahamas, was revealed in a journalistic investigation conducted by RISE Moldova, in 2016. After a trial, the RISE journalists won the case in 2021 at the European Court in Strasbourg.

Following the publication of the CIJM investigation, Russian businessman Evgheny Kheyman confirmed his involvement in the Bahamas schemes through which the Socialist Party and former President Igor Dodon received millions for election campaigns. Kheyman gave an interview to Jurnal TV, in which he confirmed that the offshore that sponsored the Moldovan socialists was owned by the former communist deputy of the Russian State Duma, Vaha Agaev, who died in 2020 of Covid. In response to Keyman's allegations in the interview, Natur Bravo director Mukhmad Galaev, who has been charged in a criminal case based on a complaint from his predecessor, dismissed the allegations in an interview to Galaev claims that his predecessor damaged the company and was forced by the owners to reimburse the damage.

CIJM investigation had over 24,000 views on the portal

5. "Secrets of the CC judge who resigned: Company of millions, house on a troubled land and ties with Vasile Bolea"

An investigation by the Center for Investigative Journalism, conducted in 2004, into the abuses admitted by a former prosecutor played a decisive role in preventing a person, promoted as a judge at the Constitutional Court by the Socialist deputies, from getting this position. It is about the former prosecutor Boris Lupașcu, whom PSRM had promoted to the position of judge at the Constitutional Court after, in April this year, they had revoked Judge Domnica Manole. Not much was known about Lupașcu, but the 2004 CIJM investigation revealed his involvement in the cover-up of the files. The investigation showed that Boris Lupaşcu and a communist deputy were putting pressure on the criminal prosecution bodies in three trials regarding the illegal cutting of the forest and illegal sale of large amount of wood involving people from the Hânceşti State Enterprise -Silva and Ocolul Silvic Oneşti. reporters examined in addition to what was previously documented and published a material that was taken over by several media. Under the pressure of the opinion, the former prosecutor Boris Lupașcu resigned.  CIJM  made a follow-up and wrote a complex investigation into the Socialist-promoted candidate for such an important position.


The investigation had over 23 thousand views on the portal.

6. "How a prosecutor's wife tried to silence journalists"

A journalistic investigation into how a well-known and controversial prosecutor resorted to a fictitious divorce in order to hide his properties he could not cover with his salary from the prosecutor's office, turned for the Center for Investigative Journalism, the author of the investigation and a civic activist, into a fight for several years with state institutions and the prosecutor's wife. The prosecutor's wife, a lawyer by profession, harassed the CIJM team from the very first documents. The lawyer wrote complaints to several state institutions, to the Center for Personal Data Protection, to the Press Council, to the police and the Prosecutor's Office, she sued us. Some institutions have started criminal proceedings and even criminal cases. The Center for Personal Data Protection was on the lawyer’s side at first and found without reason, that the journalists violated the law when they checked, in the documentation process, the data from the Cadastre regarding the properties used by the prosecutor. Journalists have written dozens of explanations, wasted time in police meetings and at courts.

The investigation "VIDEO // Fictitious divorce and the hidden property of prosecutor Igor Popa", published in July 2020, showed that the prosecutor lived in a luxury apartment that he did not declare and that he would have resorted to a fictitious divorce because he could not prove the legality of the resources for this house.

The criminal trial no. 20200101462 of November 4, 2020 lasted almost a year and was examined in the light of the provisions of art. 177 of the Criminal Code, according to which the legislator establishes the criminal liability for “violation of the inviolability of personal life”, ie “illegal collection or knowingly dissemination of information, protected by law, about personal life, which constitutes personal or family secret of another person, without one’s consent.

On September 20, 2021, the prosecutor Sergiu Harea from the Centru Prosecutor's Office signed the ordinance not to start the criminal investigation against the Center for Investigative Journalism. He accepted the report with the proposal not to start the criminal investigation, presented by the criminal investigation officer of the Criminal Investigation Section of the Police Inspectorate Centru of the Chisinau Police Department, Mihaela Crulicovschi. The reason for not starting the criminal investigation in the criminal process no. 20200101462 was that "the deed does not meet the elements of the crime". Thus, the criminal case against the Center for Investigative Journalism was closed.

The investigation was impactful. At the end of 2021, Prosecutor Popa, who in the meantime also took over the position of Deputy Prosecutor of Chisinau, was targeted by his colleagues from the Anticorruption Prosecutor's Office, who started a criminal case for illicit enrichment. The criminal case is based on the CIJM 2020 investigation "Fictitious divorce and the secret  property of prosecutor Igor Popa". In the last days of 2021, the deputy head of the Chisinau Prosecutor's Office, Igor Popa was suspended from office, by the vote of the Superior Council of Prosecutors.

The investigation had over 25 thousand views on the portal.

7. Ukraine's energy megalomania and the fatal consequences for Moldova

A comprehensive investigation into the danger posed by Ukraine's energy project, namely the Novodnestrovsk hydropower plant on the ecosystem and water quality of the Nistru River. Following the publication of the investigation, the issue was discussed at the highest level between the presidents of the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine during the first visit to Kiev, of the head of state Maia Sandu. The investigation generated several discussions with the. As a result, UNDP has conducted an extensive study confirming the risk posed by the Ukrainian hydroelectric plant on the Nistru River.


The authors of the investigation continued the subject and wrote a follow up, the investigation "Moldova and the Nistru – barred by the Ukraine", which shows that this project already has a devastating impact on the flow, water quality and biological diversity of the Nistru River - the main source of drinking water for almost eight million people in Ukraine and Moldova. However, Kiev intends to continue expanding the complex, seeking to ensure its energy independence, and Chisinau risks completely losing access to the main source of drinking water, the Nistru. Moldova is one of the countries with water shortages and an increased risk of climate change. Ukraine ignores the ecological impact of the Novodnestrovsk energy project on Moldova.

The investigation had 21 thousand views on the portal and it was quoted by several media outlets in Moldova, Romania and other countries.

8. "Mining industry in Donbas and Transnistria: between terrorist financing and money laundering"

This is one of the few cross-border investigations conducted by CIJM reporters in 2021. This time the team worked with journalists from Ukraine and Germany. The investigation revealed an entire mining industry, run by the unrecognized regime in Tiraspol, the Transnistrian region of the Republic of Moldova, monopolized by separatists. The authors point out that although cryptocurrency mining is a threat to state security, the Moldovan authorities allow the import of mining equipment, and the Ukrainian authorities allow the operation of exchange offices of cryptocurrencies.


The investigation also reveals how people from the Kremlin's entourage revolve around the cryptocurrency business in the pro-Russian separatist republics of Moldova and Ukraine. This investigation is a follow up of a series of investigations, started in 2019, when CIJM reporters showed how the cryptocurrency business works in the Transnistrian region and which people from the entourage of former head of state of the Republic of Moldova and the Russian Federation would support the Tiraspol regime to develop this business.

This investigation had 21,000 views on

9 "Poor" prosecutors with apartments, houses and tens of thousands of euros donated by parents and relatives "

The reporters of the portal screened the statements on property of all the prosecutors from Moldova - almost 700 and revealed some schemes through which the prosecutor would hide a part of the illegally obtained revenues. CIJM reporters found that about 170 state prosecutors indicated in the statements on property presented to the National Integrity Authority that they received generous gifts last year - houses, apartments, land or tens of thousands of euros, as donations. The investigation also revealed that many prosecutors live large, with large fortunes, expensive cars, and some of them can afford travels for expensive destinations. Some of them indicated apartments and cars at ridiculous prices, below the market price level. This is a scheme that uses loopholes in the legislation.  if they declared the properties at their market price, the prosecutors could not justify the resources for them, because they would be lower than their legally obtained income. The National Integrity Authority started, after the publication of the material, controls against 10 prosecutors targeted in the investigation.

The schemes repeatedly revealed by CIJM reporters were the basis for changes made by the new Parliament to the legislation on the integrity system.

CIJM reporters made a follow up to the investigation with other topics related to the integrity of prosecutors: "Rich people from the Anti-Corruption Prosecutor's Office", "Houses, cars and donations // How do PCCOCS prosecutors handle it", "Prosecutors with integrity problems, anointed on their birthday" , "New heads at district prosecutors 'offices: Who they are and what property they declare", "Unknown retirees from the Prosecutors' Inspectorate: Who they are and what their income is" /

The investigation had over 21,000 views.

10. "Stoianoglo family business - between law and illegality. How the wife of the general prosecutor does not to pay income taxes to the state ” 

The investigation reveals a case at the limit of the legality of the general prosecutor's family. The wife of General Prosecutor Alexandr Stoianoglo owns and manages a luxury beauty salon without paying state income taxes. It has taken advantage of a loophole in tax law, namely the right of entrepreneurs' patent holders to associate, so all Opium employees work on a patent basis. The officially declared income is only 12 thousand lei per year and consists of the payment for the rent of the place, which would be paid by the patent holders who work there. Anti-corruption experts believe that this is a tax evasion scheme, on the verge of legality. The author sent her 16-year-old son to a hairdresser at this barber’s shop and filmed with a hidden camera. The prices at this barber shop are quite high. Therefore, the General Prosecutor did not declare all the income from his wife's business. Earlier, the CIJM said in another investigation that the General Prosecutor in the year when he took office, did not declare any income from his wife's salon or the rent. Some details from these investigations were the basis of the criminal case started this October against the general prosecutor Alexandr Stoianoglo. One of the five charges is also fake in public documents related to illicit enrichment.

11. "Unknown business of prosecutor Ruslan Popov from Orhei"

The family of Deputy Prosecutor General Ruslan Popov, under criminal investigation for illicit enrichment, controlled, in addition to the orchard and the refrigerator in Milestii Mici, a third of an agricultural business in the village of Brăviceni, Orhei district. This case, which was identified by the reporters of the Center for Investigative Journalism, is not registered on the prosecutor's name, has not been and is not declared. It is a super intensive apple orchard, arranged according to up to date standards. The share in the business was initially recorded on Alexandru Popov’s name, the prosecutor's eldest son, who was a 19-year-old student at the time. Shortly before Ruslan Popov was arrested for illicit enrichment, the share of the business in Brăviceni was registered on the name of a resident of Milestii Mici, settled in the USA, a friend of the prosecutor.

The Center of Investigative Journalism in Moldova has previously published several other investigations into the property and business of the prosecutor from Milestii Mici, registered on the name of his father, a 70-year-old pensioner. Reporters described the prosecutor's business in agriculture, a business registered on his father's name, a refrigerator for storing fruit, house and luxury cars.

In October 2021, the suspended Deputy Prosecutor General Ruslan Popov was detained by anti-corruption prosecutors and Intelligence and Security Service officers on suspicion of illicit enrichment. Prosecutors raided the prosecutor's luxury home in Milestii Mici village, Ialoveni district. The interim general prosecutor, Dumitru Robu, declared that Popov is being prosecuted by the Anticorruption Prosecutor's Office for illicit enrichment.

12. "Wealthy sponsors of magistrates. Houses, apartments and tens of thousands of euros for gifts "

Every year, dozens of judges in Moldova report that they have accepted gifts. The year 2020 is not an exception. Every fifth judge in Moldova reported in their statements on property for last year that they received donations from parents, in-laws, brothers, sisters or other close relatives. As many as 84 magistrates out of 400 who work in the country's courts today indicated in the documents presented to the National Integrity Authority that they received gifts last year, either money, cars or real estate.

The National Integrity Authority acted following the publication of the investigation and started controls against several judges involved in the investigation.

13. "VIDEO // How the former SIS director who expelled the Turkish teachers, arranged his life "

Former director of the Intelligence and Security Service (SIS), Vasile Botnari, the only Moldovan official convicted in the case of expelling Turkish teachers, lives in a luxury house located on three plots in an elite neighborhood from Chisinau. Both the land and the buildings became the property of Botnari when he held high positions, being one of the relatives and protégés of Vladimir Plahotniuc. Although he has lived there for years, the former official has never declared his property, which is registered on his in-laws’ name. Vasile Botnari does not appear to be financially affected by the fact that he lost his job, or by the fine which he must pay for expelling Turkish teachers. The former director of SIS has a luxury car, hires people for housekeeping and spends at least 9,000 lei a month on security services.

The deputy of the Action and Solidarity Party Lilian Carp requested the National Integrity Authority to check the property of the former director of the Intelligence and Security Service, Vasile Botnari, after the publication of the investigation of the Journalistic Investigation Center "VIDEO // - How the Director of SIS, who expelled the Turkish teachers, arranges his life ". The National Integrity Authority started a control, at the notification of the PAS deputy Lilian Carp.


A video documentary reveals how doctors had to work during the pandemic, when the entire medical system was not ready for it. The documentary focuses more on the rights of medical workers: doctors, nurses and technical staff, who had to work for two, three or more colleagues who fell ill, due to insecurity in the workplace. Hospitals cope with the situation imposed by the coronavirus pandemic, even if the system has not always defended their rights. Insecurity at work, lack of good quality protective equipment, late testing, stress and much work are among the sources of violation of the rights that should benefit the medical staff.

Once the pandemic spread in Moldova, cases of violation of the rights of employees in the health system were reported. Almost every third medical staff was infected. Ten months after the pandemic, more than 13,800 health workers contracted the virus. These heavy figures reveal the vulnerabilities of the health system in Moldova in the face of a large pandemic.

The video documentary had over 19,000 views.

15. Socialist councilor from Hânceşti: property of millions with a modest salary

The socialist councilor from Hânceşti district. Ivan Ududovici officially declares that last year he had a salary income of only 114,000 lei, at the level of the salary of a school teacher, while he owns and manages businesses worth millions. The businessman, a co-founder with Socialist leader Igor Dodon and the godfather of police colonel Petru Corduneanu, a close associate of the former head of state, did not report his business, his million-dollar building and luxury car. His father was followed by his two eldest sons, in public office, they neglected the rules for declaring property and conflicts of interest. Ivan Udodovici, who is also the president of the Hânceşti district organization of PSRM, benefited from several facilities from the government and he did some services for the party led by his godfather.

The National Integrity Authority acted following the publication by the Center of Investigative Journalism of the investigation “Socialist councillor from Hânceşti: property of millions with a modest salary. The self-notification act was signed recently by the director of ANI, Rodica Antoci. Ivan Ududovich explained the non-declaration of property by a "technical error".

The investigation had over 17,000 views on the portal.

16. "The war between Aliyev and Moser: How Gourgiulesti Free International  Port became  EBRD property"

One of the most important strategic objectives of the Republic of Moldova - Giurgiulesti Port - has become the subject of dispute between several companies and international banks, which have credited this business. Giurgiulesti port, the only exit to the sea in the Republic of Moldova, is now managed by the EBRD, but in the past, for almost two decades, it has been managed by Azerbaijani, Dutch, Austrian, offshore companies in Cyprus, Bahamas and Moldovan companies.


The EBRD bought from the Austrian company, Febania Gmbh, the Cypriot company ThoMo Invest LTD, which owned the Danube group of companies and, implicitly, the Giurgiulesti Free International Port. Febania Gmbh was opened by the former manager of Danube Logistics SRL, Thomas Moser, on the eve of the unfavorable decision of the first instance court of Moldova in its dispute with Bemol. Before this deal, the EBRD owned 65% of the revenues of Danube Logistics Holding BV.

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) announced on May 19 that it had bought 100% of the capital of the Danube Logistics Group, thus it becomes 100% owner of the Giurgiulesti Free International Port (PILG).

The investigation had over 14,000 views on the portal.

The investigation had a follow-up.

17. How much does the mandate of deputy in 2021 cost?

The electoral campaign for the early parliamentary elections of July 11 cost the three electoral contestants, who entered the new parliamentary group, from 5 to 6 million lei. If we compare the campaign expenses to the number of deputy mandates obtained by the three political parties, the cost of a mandate is between 101,000 and 895,000 lei. Electoral contestants collected campaign resources from donations from individuals and legal entities, as well as from their own resources - money that the parties in Parliament received from the state.

PAS, which won the majority of Parliament, spent at least 8.28 lei for one vote. 774,754 voters voted for this party. The party was founded by the current president of the Republic of Moldova, Maia Sandu, who dissolved the previous Parliament to hold early elections.

The electoral Bloc of the Communists and Socialists has twice as much for a vote - 16 lei, this electoral contestant got the votes of 398,678 people.  Electors’ vote enabled Former Presidents Igor Dodon and Vladimir Voronin to enter Parliament.

The most expensive vote belongs to the Șor Party - 63.8 lei. 84,185 voters voted for this party. The leader of this party, Ilan Șor got a new mandate of deputy and again parliamentary immunity, although in the previous parliament he did not attend the sittings a single day . He is criminally convicted in the Theft Billion case and in June 2019 he fled Moldova. He, along with four other colleagues, were deprived of parliamentary immunity, but once he got a parliamentary seat, he benefits from parliamentary immunity. Therefore, Ilan Șor, who led the election campaign remotely, by video conference, can return to Moldova amid lack of a final conviction.

18. "Wedding house in Orheiul Vechi, 5 years later after a journalistic investigation // Double standard in justice and improved schemes"

A wedding house  has been operating illegally for years right near the exhibition hall of the Orheiul Vechi Museum Complex, built from a donation from the US Embassy in Chisinau. The wedding house belongs to Lilia Colţa, deputy director of the reservation, who managed to get an 11-acre plot of land right on the territory of the Complex under the special protection of the state. In 2016, the Center for Investigative  Journalism  in Moldova published an investigation into the wedding business in Orheiul Vechi, and state authorities did not move a finger to stop the illegality. During this time, Lilia Colţa was acquitted in the case filed for fraud, extended the constructions and improved the scheme in order to protect her property.

19. „VIDEO // Prosecutor Vinițchi builds a house on the shores of Lake Ghidighici "

Prosecutor Pavel Vinitchi, known in the past for investigating drug trafficking cases, is building a house in a park on the shores of Lake Ghidighici. The building on the forested land with birches and conifers seems to have at least 200 square meters, although he claims in the declaration of wealth and personal interests that it would have a little over 79 square meters. The area where the prosecutor builds his house is forested and is located on the shores of Lake Ghidighici.

The National Integrity Authority filed a complaint after the portal wrote about the house the prosecutor is building, and late last year, his colleagues from the Anticorruption Prosecutor's Office started a criminal case for illicit enrichment.

During the year, prosecutor Vinițchi was the subject of two other CIJM investigations. In the VIDEO investigation // Prosecutor suspected of drunk driving. How the prosecutor justifies it,  CIJM reporters showed how Pavel Vinitchi was caught drunk driving. CIJM reporters were notified by the police who detained him. The blood alcohol test showed that Vinitchi had a concentration of 0.17 mg / l in expired air. This result is enough for a contravention case and for Pavel Vinitchi to remain without a driving license for at least 6 months.

Record in court: Prosecutor Vinitchi, acquitted a few days after his report was drawn up for allegedly drunk driving

The report drawn up by the police against prosecutor Pavel Vinitchi for allegedly drunk driving was canceled in nine days by the Chisinau District Court. Several lawyers told us that they have never experienced that a contravention case be settled so quickly and that such proceedings take several months.

VIDEO / Prosecutor, disciplinary sanctioned for violations found in a journalistic investigation.

The Superior Council of Prosecutors severely reprimanded prosecutor Pavel Vinitchi for disciplinary offenses committed in investigating an alleged drug trafficker who made revelations for Moreover, the CSP annulled the decision of December 30, 2020 of the College of Discipline and Ethics of Prosecutors by which Viniţchi was acquitted of the accusations. Pavel Vinitchi, a prosecutor in the Chisinau Prosecutor's Office, has been the subject of several journalistic investigations by the Center for Investigative Journalism.

Late in 2021, Pavel Viniţchi appeared as a suspect in two criminal cases, for passive corruption and illicit enrichment. At the heart of both cases are the CIJM investigations. The prosecutor challenged in court both orders to initiate criminal proceedings.

20. "Roma people of nobody. How Roma children from Moldova end up begging in Georgia?"

A cross-border investigation carried out by Moldovan journalists in collaboration with journalists from Georgia reveals a scheme by which Roma children end up begging in cities in Georgia and the authorities in both countries do not know about it. The children get there with their families and are often exploited, forced to beg, a profitable "business" for the clans.

According to data provided by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and European Integration of the Republic of Moldova, in 2015–2020, only 30 citizens requested the assistance of the mission to return to Moldova. Most of the cases were thwarted, on the one hand, by the unwillingness of women to return to Moldova, and, on the other hand, by the fact that a large part of them do not generally have IDs or have expired documents.

In 2016–2020, the consular section of the Embassy of the Republic of Moldova in Baku issued, in the absence of valid identity documents or following their declaration as lost, 30 travel documents: in 2016 - 3; in 2017 - 1; in 2018 - 16; 2019 - 4; in 2020 - 6.

According to a Georgian expert, Moldovan Roma in her sector do not want to return home, either they do not have valid documents or do not have them in general: “Georgian authorities have requested the issuance of a travel document in 2018. Other requests were from the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in Tbilisi or directly from the citizens concerned. "

The journalistic investigations, carried out in 2021 by the team of the Center for Investigative Journalism, which are part of this top, were accomplished under the projects carried out with the support of the Soros Foundation-Moldova, the Embassy of Canada in the Republic of Moldova, based in Bucharest, the US Embassy in Republic of Moldova, Freedom House International Organization, Friedrich Ebert Foundation Moldova and the Lawyers for Human Rights Association in Moldova.

We need support to reveal more schemes of corruption and embezzlement of public money, human rights violations. You can help the team of the Center for Investigative Journalism in Moldova through Patreon or you can redirect annually 2% of the income tax, for investigative journalism, fiscal code of the Center for Investigative Journalism - 1019620008889.


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