Integrity

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

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
28/01/2016 22590

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. We found that one third of them came to public attention as their properties exceeded their real incomes. Half of directors of agencies have profitable businesses and many of them are hidden. Some state directors are listed as managers of their companies, which is prohibited by law. 

The first part of the investigation reveals the properties, businesses and interests of the heads from the Agency for Land Relations and Cadaster, Agency for Public Procurement, Customs Service, State Tax Inspectorate, Competition Council, Bureau for Interethnic Relations, Financial Inspection, Agency of Medicaments, Agency of Interventions and Payment for Agriculture and the National Food Safety Agency. This investigation discloses the properties and interests of other directors of important institutions.

Directors of the National Energy Regulatory Agency: luxury houses, high salaries and omissions in the statements

Sergiu Ciobanu and Oxana Gotinjan (singer Roxana). Photo: Tribuna.md

The Council of National Energy Regulatory Agency (ANRE) has 4 directors, one general director with responsibilities divided in different fields. An investigation of the Center for Investigative Journalism carried out together with Ziarul de Garda shows that the directors from ANRE own impressive properties and some of them are not declared in the income and property statements.

Sergiu Ciobanu has been general director of ANRE since July 2013. Sergiu Ciobanu has not declared any house in his property statement except the salary from the institution where he worked and one car Skoda, 2008 purchased in 2009. The General Director of ANRE is engaged to a singer with the stage name Roxana. Their marriage was not registered at the Register Office. Real name of the singer is Oxana Gotinjan.  Both of them have previously lived in an apartment on str. Sadoveanu in Chisinau, registered on the name of a child from previous relation of Oxana. The woman owns a car BMW, but this is not declared in the statement of the functionary. Also, the apartment where both of them lived, the company Oxigot SRL, founded and managed by Oxana Gotinjan as of November 2005 were not included in the statement. He has declared activities in trade; a social capital estimated at 5.400 lei and is registered in the apartment where Sergiu and Oxana lived, on str. Sadoveanu. The General Director of ANRE said about the undeclared company of his life partner that: „This Company has never activated. Also, I could not declare this company because we are not officially married”.

Octavian Lungu. Photo: primm.ro

Octavian Lungu has been director and member of the Management Board of ANRE since January 2014. In June 2013, he was advisor of the Minister of Transport and Road Infrastructure and chairman of the Management Boards of "Air Moldova", "MoldATSA" and "Airport Handling". Previously, he managed offices in different companies in the field of finance, including Victoria Insurance. Before he was elected member of ANRE, Lungu has built a luxury individual house in town Codru at the outskirts of Chisinau. The house is officially registered in documents in the small town Codru. The house has a market value of over 5 million lei. In the statement on income and property for 2013 he claims to have built it between 2001 to 2012, and then it was officially put in operation. The house is registered on his and his wife’s name, Stela. Couple Lungu owns two plots of land for construction, two cars "Mazda" and over 800 thousand lei in bank accounts. Octavian Lungu is founder of two SRLs, "Danisan Consult" and "Universal Motors". The first company was founded in 2008 and provides business consulting services. It is registered on str. Romana, in a building that previously belonged to Victoria Insurance Company, where Lungu worked and then to "Finpar Invest" SRL, affiliated to Vladimir Plahotniuc. In 2012, he sold the building to another trader. In 2013, Octavian Lungu co-founded another company "Universal Motors" specialized in trade with vehicles. ANRE Director owns 45% in this company. His business partners are Dorin Procopciuc (5%), Boris Verlan (5%) and Alexei Rogov (45%).  In April 2015, the National Integrity Commission started an investigation on the name of Octavian Lungu, following a report of the National Anticorruption Center (CNA). The institution found that Lungu received incomes worth 2,7 thousands lei from SRL Prime Management, founded and managed by Vladimir Plahotniuc, which he has not declared. In the explanations for CNI, Lungu said that „this omission was not deliberate and the sum results from an agreement of service rendering signed with SRL Prime Management”. CNI ruled to close the case “on the grounds that there are not conditions to show the deliberate violation of the legal regime in the statement on incomes and property of inexact or incomplete data”.

The house of family Lungu. Photo: CIJM

Ghenadie Partu, another director of ANRE, got CNI’s attention. Like his colleague who got away, he completed the declaration on income and property with many omissions. Partu was under control as a result of a complaint of CAN (National Anti-corruption Center) on 23 January 2015. The institution found that he owns a trailer, a truck and a tractor, an accessory building to his house, an apartment and a plot. His wife owns shares in a company, goods which he has not declared in the statement of income and property. Also, he has not declared the revenues which he got in 2013 from other sources except from ANRE, 4 bank accounts and shares in a SRL and an Individual Enterprise.  The case was closed. According to the statement on income and property in 2014, Ghenadie Partu as director of ANRE got a salary of 628 thousand lei, the equivalent of 52 000 lei per month. His wife employed at Moldtelecom received 150 thousand lei. Family Partu got a sum of 74 000 lei from dividends in a SRL owned by his wife which was not declared a year earlier.

Iurie and Aza Onica. Photo: facebook.com

Iurie Onica, the fourth director of ANRE has an impressive property.  He is 38 and before he became head at ANRE, he managed his own company, Onica Comerț SRL. According to the information from his statement on income and property for 2014, last year he moved into a new house with a surface of about 200 square meters, with a cadastral value of nearly one million lei. Until then, Onica and his wife lived in a luxury block, with only a few apartments on str. Vasile Nauc, where his family owns a house with a surface of 100 sqm.  Also, in 2014 Onica got a salary of 624 thousands lei from ANRE, 52 000 per month, he sold 2 plots for construction at the price of 200 thousands lei and contracted three loans totaling 1.3 million lei. In 2013, when he was elected director of ANRE, he bought a Land Rover Discovery, against 350 thousand lei, under a loan agreement.

According to the information from State Registration Chamber, Onica is the director and founder of "Onica Comert" SRL, founded in 2007, and which is specialized in import, manufacture, storage and sale of chemical materials, toxic chemicals, household products, and other types of trade. The company is registered in an apartment on str. Cuza Voda, which was previously owned by the family Onica.

Also, Iurie Onica owns a house with a surface of 100 square meters placed in a district of villas at the outskirts of Chisinau. He received this house based on a sale-purchase agreement registered at Cadaster on June 17, 2014. On the same day, he pledged his house for a credit estimated at 1,1 million lei from Eximbank.  Three months later, Onica takes another credit estimated at 150.000 lei from the same bank with the final reimbursement term- August 2029. The house is built on the plot with a surface of 0,066 hectares which was owned since 2004 by  Dorin Damir, which the press wrote that he is the godson of Vladimir Plahotniuc. In 2011, he sold the plot to Iurie Dogotari who on his turn sold it in 2013 to couple Serghei and Galina Vacari. In 2013, family Vacari started the construction of the house currently owned by the director of ANRE.

Ghenadie Sajin, head of the State Inspection in Constructions:  close functionary of Vlad Plahotniuc with an apartment estimated at 1,5 million lei

Ghenadie Sajin (right) with Marcel Pavel (middle), at the sea. Photo: facebook.com

In late April 2015, Ghenadie Sajin was appointed head of the State Inspection in Constructions. He was manager at the company Finpar Invest, affiliated to Plahotniuc. Under the law, he had to renounce on this office for the seat of head at a state institution where he receives a salary estimated at just 6.000 lei per month. Company Finpar Invest, with a social capital of 498 million lei, has declared activities in purchase /sale /rental of own immovable properties and owns the block on str. D. Cantemir 1/1,  where the GBC of Plahotniuc is placed, and the plot of the hotel Nobil. Over the past years, the company won, based on trial, many plots in the capital. The press wrote about Sajin that he is the  brother-in-law of the former general prosecutor Valeriu Zubco and they participated all together 3 years ago in the illegal hunting in the reservation “Padurea Domneasca” that ended in the death of the businessman Sorin Paciu. The press wrote that the latter was his god son. In this criminal case, Sajin had procedural status of witness, not of defendant.

An investigation carried out by the Center for Investigative Journalism in collaboration with Ziarul de Garda, immediately after Sajin was appointed, revealed the activity of the functionary and the businesses affiliated to Plahotniuc. Thus, Sajin was employed at the age of 18 in the sovhoz „Lopatnic”. In the period 1995-1997, he was director of SRL Anghelo, an economic unit that currently misses from official register with this name. Most probably it is about the  moldo-american Financial Group „Angels”, founded by Plahotniuc,  that currently is known as „Angel-S” ( advertising agency) located on boulevard D. Cantemir 1/1,  where is the official „residence”  of Plahotniuc. Later on, from 1997 to 2014, Sajin was director at SRL Arbitru, another company that has no connection with constructions. According to the information from the State Registration Chamber, this company is specialized in production and commerce and deals with intermediation for sale of agricultural raw material, animals or commerce. In 2008-2010, Sajin was director of ICS Drive SRL, a company that owns the well-known night club with the same name. In 2009, Sajin was elected deputy director at Finpar Invest and then director. Though, Finpar Invest seemed to have connection in constructions, with interests in the field. Actually, this SRL is far from offering to Sajin „vast experience” which was mentioned by Anatolie Zolotcov, deputy minister and president of the competition commission who designated winner Sajin. Finpar Invest, Vlad Plahotniuc and Ghenadie Sajin have a common past. In an investigation of the Center for Investigative Journalism, the reporters said that Finpar Invest owns 3 apartments in the block in the center of the capital where the family of Plahotniuc lives.  Finpar Invest is specialized in constructions and plans to build a hotel in the Public Garden "Stefan cel Mare", near the cinema „Patria”.  The project promoted by the company made the society unhappy. The same SRL owns the islands in Park „La Izvor”, other plots in Chisinau and in other towns of the country where constructions are planned.

According to the declaration on incomes and property for 2014, the functionary from Construction raised a salary worth over half of million lei from Finpar Invest. He said that he owns 5 plots: one for constructions, purchased in 2011 at the price of about 7.000  lei, and other plots were inherited– one for constructions and three agricultural plots with a total cadastral value worth 73.000  lei. Also, Sajin has had an apartment with a surface of 262, 7 square meters since 2008 with a cadastral value of almost 1, 5 million lei as well as a house and 2 auxiliary constructions, inherited in 2012 with a total cadastral value estimated at only 70.000 lei. The functionary also owns 2 cars Toyota Land Cruiser, purchased in 2012 and 2014 at the price of 250.000 and 400.000 lei respectively.

Valentin Guznac, former director at the Licensing Chamber, current general deputy-secretary of the Government: with undeclared companies and apartments

Valentin Guznac. Photo: pdm.md

Valentin Guznac was director of the Licensing Chamber since July 2011. Previously, he has served important offices in the state. In 1999, Valentin Guznac was designated for the office of deputy head of the Division of local public administration of the county Council Balti.  In October, the same year, he was appointed deputy mayor of the municipality Balti. In the period 2007-2009, he was minister of the Local Public Administration. He kept his office of Minister in the Government headed by Zinaida Greceanii on March 31 2008.  Following the parliamentary elections in July 2009, he was MP on the list of PCRM.   He is known as a political camp-switching. Guznac was communist MP and member of the Party „Moldova Unita”, and in June 2010 he joined the Democratic Party.

In 2013, he was involved in a scandal on the pharmaceutical market. Ziarul de Garda wrote that the Anticorruption Prosecution started 3 criminal cases on the name of decision makers from the Ministry of Health and the Licensing Chamber. Andrei Usatii and Valentin Guznac, heads of these institutions were supposed to be investigated for abuse of power, negligence at job and false public documents. The cases were started following the statements of the liberal MP Gheorghe Brega who explained the scheme: „To open pharmacies, the economic units applied to the Licensing Chamber. Based on law, the Chamber refused. Later on, they went to the Ministry and they got statements signed by the Minister and then they sued to law. They won the case based on the statement of the Ministry and the Licensing Chamber did not challenge the decision”.

Here Valentin Guznac has an apartment registered on his daughter. Photo: CIJM

Valentin Guznac completed his statements on incomes and properties with many omissions. In his last statement for 2014, the functionary shows incomes from salary, from representing state interests in administration councils of some state enterprises, as well as from the allowance of municipal councilor estimated at 266.000 lei. He did not declare plots, except one apartment with a surface of about 100 square meters. Valentin Guznac has not given details on the value of the house and the year when he bought it. The apartment is registered on his daughter’s name, Angela Guznac. Data from the Cadaster confirm a four-room apartment on str. Romana in Chisinau on the name of Angela Guznac but this one has a surface of about 76 square meters and a cadastral value of 488.000 lei. Another 3-room apartment in Balti is registered on the name of Ghenadie Guznac, son of the former director of the Licensing Chamber. The apartment has a surface of about 69 square meters with a cadastral value of 190.000 lei. This is not included in the income statements of the functionary. A leasing agreement for a period of 49 years in a forest in Durlesti is registered on the name of the son of the former director of the Licensing Chamber, wrote the journalists from the Center for Investigative Journalism in 2013. Also, he owns two cars - Audi A6, registered on his wife’s name Inna Guznac, purchased in 2005 at the price of 15.000 lei, and a Land Rover, obtained by bailment in 2012 by Valentin Guznac’s son.  

Head from the Licensing Chamber did not declare any company registered on his name. Data from the State Registration Chamber show that he has founded a company together with 11 persons in 1996- the Production and Trade Company „La Trafic” SRL, specialized in trade. Other 2 companies were co-founded and managed by the son of Guznac– SRL Galvaro Prim and the Joint Enterprise MTC IMEX SRL.

The National Integrity Commission performed a control on the name of Guznac in February 2015 related to the income declaration for 2013. The members of the commission found that he did not declare a car in bailment, an apartment, 6 banking accounts, shares of 3, 64 % in a commercial society and shares in other 3 stock companies.  The General Prosecutor’s office was supposed to be notified on this case.

Valentin Guznac was appointed general deputy secretary of the Government in the governmental meeting on Wednesday January 27.

Ion Stefanita, director of the Agency for Inspection and Restoration of Monuments, with debts of thousands of euros

Ion Stefanita. Photo: europalibera.org

Ion Stefanita became director of the Agency for Inspection and Restoration of Monuments (AIRM) in November 2009. He has been scientific researcher at the National Museum of Ethnography and Natural History. In 2008, he attended training in the Museum Charlier in Brussels and a year later- in Leipzig and Berlin. In 2009, when he was appointed director of AIRM, he reanimated this institution. The action plan was carried out step by step by inspecting the historic center of the capital. Following the local general elections from June 2015, Ion Stefanita was elected municipal councilor in the Chisinau Municipal Council on behalf of the European People’s Party in Moldova. Half a year later, in December 2015, Ion Stefanita left the European People’s Party in Moldova, after he denounced the Agreement of alliance set up at local level. Stefanita said that he would activate as independent councilor.

The CNI has not any statement on incomes and property for 2014 on the name of Ion Stefanita. According to the previous statement, the functionary is one of the poorest directors of state agencies. In 2013, he received a monthly salary estimated at about 2.000 de lei. He does not have lands, cars or shares in a company. In 2013, he sold an apartment with a surface of 36 square meters and purchased a flat with a surface of 71 square meters. In 2013, he borrowed some money: 40.000  lei, 8.000 dollars and 4.300 euros. Contacted by us, Ion Stefanita filled again and presented the income declaration for 2014 which showed an annual salary of 38,000 lei, the same apartment of 71 square meters, and debts in amount of 2.000 lei, 8,000 dollars and 4,750 euros.

Though the National Integrity Commission is supposed to reveal the property statements for 2015, the institution has not yet published some statements filed by officials for 2014. A few months ago, the Center for Investigative Journalism has made an official request to demand the Commission to provide documents showing the property of some heads of agencies. With great delay, CNI has published some documents. Many of them are missing.  We present you the heads of agencies that do not have property statement on the website of CNI. They have not published them on the websites of the institutions they lead.

Nicolae Hincu. Photo: jurnal.md

Nicolae Hincu, director of the Material Reserves Agency, with Construction Company

Nicolae Hincu was appointed director of the Material Reserves Agency on September 16,  2015. In February 2014, he founded the company Vict-Energo SRL, enterprise having many activities, mainly: constructions, electric equipment and trade.

Octavian Apostol, general director of the State Agency for Intellectual Property

Octavian Apostol. Photo: agepi.gov.md

Octavian Apostol is 30 and he is the son of the liberal MP Ion Apostol, general secretary of the Liberal Party. Between 2011 and 2014, he was marketing director in Conluxart, a company specialized in roofs’ construction. In the period when Apostol worked for this company, he benefited from agreements on behalf of the state estimated at half of million lei. The company signed procurement agreements with the Service of Civil Protection and Emergencies of the Interior Ministry and with Chisinau City Hall. In an interview for portal Clean Moldova, Octavian Apostol said that he owns a 2-room apartment in the capital and he does not have a car.

Mihail Roibu, director of the State Hydrometeorological Service, with goods privatized at derisory prices

Mihail Roibu was appointed director of the State Hydrometeorological Service in September 2012. He was re-elected director of this institution several months ago. According to the data of the State Registration Chamber, Roibu founded the Individual Enterprise M.Roibu&C, established in 1995, whose main field of activity is trade. This company is registered in a building where, according to data from Cadaster, the functionary owns many facilities. In the same block,  Mihail Roibu  is the owner of a facility with a surface of 140,9 square meters, which he gives in leasing, a facility with a surface of 213,6 square meters and of an apartment with a surface of 54,6 square meters.

Mihail Roibu. Photo: meteo.md

The name of the company founded by Mihail Roibu is included in the report of the Court of Accounts from July 6, 2012, the Report on performance auditing „ Opportunities to improve the mechanism of managing the patrimony  taken/ given in leasing by the public authorities or commercial societies with public integral or majority capital and to increase the efficiency of its management”.  The reports of the Court points that some economic units privatized the goods of the state at derisory prices, and later on they were leased to other public entities or even re-sold at higher prices. Thus, the immovable property, owned by  Î.I. M. Roibu C, came into possession of this company, after in 1998, the representatives of the enterprise bought an office in a house on the street Mihail Kogalniceanu 58, at the price of 60,000 lei, from an economic unit who privatized it under a tenancy agreement from the Chisinau city Hall, at the price of  55,000 lei. Also, according to the audit performed in 2002-2005, Î.I. M.Roibu&C, exchanged an apartment and purchased other 3 apartments from private persons, all of them in the same building at the price of 382.500 lei. After some construction and reconstruction works were performed in these apartments, Î.I. M.Roibu&C proposed for lease the aforementioned goods to the Register Service (SSC) at the price of 1, 4 million lei annually. Thus, in the period 2008-2011, SSC bore expenditures afferent to this lease estimated at 5, 2 million lei. The auditors also found that the  Î.I.M.Roibu&C, as a lessor, proposed the individual house for lease, without an authorization to change the destination of its use. Thus, he violated the stipulation of the legislation and normative documents in constructions and the state was harmed after the tax for property used for commercial purposes, was not collected.

The second company founded in 1997 by Roibu Mihail, with 49% of shares, is the Joint Enterprise Cosmetics Oriflame Moldova SRL. Roibu’s partner is a company in Romania– Gota Zahar Impex SRL, with 51% shares. Currently, the company is in process of liquidation. Mihail Roibu donated a sum of 250.000 lei to the Liberal Party in the general local elections. 

Valeriu Canter, director of the National Council for Accreditation and Attestation, owns 3 companies

Valeriu Canter. Photo: cnaa.asm.md

Valeriu Canter has been director of the National Council for Accreditation and Attestation since 2009. He is known at world level as a well-known researcher in field of physics and electronic engineering. He is author of 400 scientific works, including 8 monographs and manuals, he owns 17 patents. Though, he has been managing this state institution for about 6 years,   Valeriu Canter has not completed any statement on incomes and property at CNI.

Academician founded 3 companies: SRL Selina-AC, SRL Amato and SRL Crioteh. Amato SRL, registered in 2001, has a social capital estimated at 257.140 lei, and Canter has a 10% share in this company. His partners are Constantin Chirca, Valeriu, Tamara and Victor Efremov. This company is specialized in consulting activities for businesses and management.  The second company of the academician is Crioteh SRL, specialized in research and development in physical and natural science. The company founded in 1998 has a social capital of 12.430 lei, and Valeriu Canter has a 18% share. The academician is co-founder with a 33% share  in Selina-AC SRL, founded in 1996 together with Lidia Botnariuc (33%) and Victoria Avornic (34%).  This company is specialized in retail trade of bread, pastry and confectionery. In 2012, the company reported 4, 6 million lei of incomes from sales. The SRL won 3 agreements with the state and received almost 130.000 lei, which is public money.

Igor Talmazan. Photo: realitatea.md

Igor Talmazan replaced Veaceslav Untila at the State Ecological Inspectorate  

Igor Talmazan has been interim director of the State Ecological Inspectorate since August 12, 2015.  He replaced Veaceslav Untila who is MP in the current Parliament. Talmazan is lawyer by profession, member of the  Joint Bar „Savva şi Parteneri”, director of SRL Special Investigations. Following the general elections in June 2015, he became municipal councilor in Chisinau, on behalf of the Liberal Party. The State Registration Chamber has not registered any companies on the name of Igor Talmazan.

 (To be continued)

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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