Vested repairs in the buildings of the district courts in Moldova
Hundreds of millions of lei were invested in the last five years in the repair of courts buildings in the country. In some cases, the companies involved in repair built apartments for families of judges, and in others, the works were performed by economic units who have ties with judges or other officials. Data analysis on the website of the Public Procurement Agency shows that companies that were the target of negative reports of the Court of Auditors, repaired and rebuilt the offices of the courts.
Millions for the repair of the offices of Buiucani District Court
As for the courts in the capital, the biggest repair agreements were concluded for the Buiucani District Court. In the past 3 years, the value of the agreements reached over 40 million lei, report data on tender.gov.md. Procurement contracts for buildings’ repairs were gained by four companies: Duxprim Service SRL, Exfactor Grup, Individual Enterprise Pasecinic and Remcor-Rapid SRL.
Contracts with the highest value - 29 million lei - were concluded with Duxprim Service SRL. The company is registered on the name of Mihail Hadirca, father of Victoria Hadirca, the magistrate at the former Buiucani District Court and of Igor Hadirca, member of the Superior Council of Prosecutors (SCP) from rights holders. The company has a standard social capital of 5,400 lei and was registered on 10 February, 2011. In 2012, the company reported sales revenues of almost eight million lei. Legal address of the company is in a room of 83.3 square meters in the attic-type apartment on str. Anestiade, registered on the name of Igor Hadirca, manager of this business. On several specialized websites, his phone number is shown in the contact details of the company. According to data from the Cadastre, the building is estimated at 1.1 million lei.
We contacted Igor Hadirca for comments. When he learned about the subject of discussion, he said that he was busy and asked us to send the questions by e-mail. Subsequently, Hadirca has not answered to the email or the calls of the reporters from the Center for Investigative Journalism. Igor Hadirca has been member of SCP for over three years, he was appointed to this position for a four-year term together with Gheorghe Mitu and Ghenadie Fortuna, by a decision of the Parliament from December 24, 2013. Ziarul de Garda previously wrote that Igor Hadirca might be the nephew of Sergiu Brinza, husband of Liuba Branza, judge at the Centru District Court in Chisinau. Victoria Hadirca, Igor Hadirca’s sister has been magistrate at Buiucani District Court for two years and was appointed for a five-year term by decree of president Nicolae Timofti dated April 11, 2014.
Lost license for a company but gains tenders with another company
Remcor Rapid SRL, specialized in constructions received 312,000 lei for current repair works of the offices of the former Buiucani District Court. Founder and manager of the company is Vladimir Corotcov in whose house the business is registered. Name of Corotcov appears in the list of founders of other two companies - SRL Faur-CMM (has 42 co-founders) and SC Tehnogarant SRL - specialized in constructions. According to the 2012 financial report, the company received sales revenues of 17.9 million lei.
In late 2012, the company Tehnogarant was involved in a scandal related to non-compliance of the legislation in construction works execution of the sports and entertaining complex "Royal Park" in the capital. The State Inspectorate for Constructions (SIC) requested the withdrawal of the company’s license and of certificates of technical and professional attestation of the site supervisor Nicolae Simac and technical officer Elena Domascan for non fulfillment of SIC’s prescription. According to a press release of the Ministry of Regional Development and Constructions, issued in November 2012, inspectors of SIC found that the entrepreneur SCTehnogarant SRL performed construction works based on an unverified project under the law, and breached the urbanism planning certificate, building permit and project documentation and built 2 additional floors in the absence of any authorization. Though the Inspection halted execution of construction works until non-compliances are removed (including demolition of two floors), Tehnogarant continued to build. Currently, the company is in process of dissolution. Contacted by reporters of the Center for Investigative Journalism, Vladimir Corotcov confirmed that the company currently was in the process of dissolution, but could not confirm the licence withdrawal and suggested us to talk with company lawyers. But this incident did not prevent Corotcov to found a year later Remcor Rapid SRL company, which has already gained tenders in 2013-2016 totaling1.4 million lei with various public authorities in Chisinau, according to the site of AAP. As for the agreement with Buiucani District Court, Corotcov said that most likely the company which he represents hired a subcontractor to perform works. "We are a small company and when we gain more tenders at the same time, we have to engage subcontractors", said the businessman.
The company that has repaired the offices of the former Rascani and Buiucani District Courts, built apartments for the families of magistrates
Significant investments were made in the Riscani District Court in Chisinau. Sum of contracts concluded for the repair and reconstruction of the offices amounts to over nine million lei only in the last three years, according to data on tender.gov.md. Thus, on October 23, 2014, Heads of the Court signed a contract for the construction of an attic-type apartments, worth 6.148 million lei, with Exfactor-Grup SRL company, specialized in civil engineering construction. A few months later, in December 2014, it signed an additional agreement for the amount of 691.000 lei, and in September 2015,the contract amount is supplemented by another 1.1 million lei. Also, in June 2015, Exfactor-Grup SRL signed another contract with the Court, worth 799,000 lei for general repairs and reconstruction of the court’s offices.
Also, in 2015 Exfactor-Grup SRL company built apartments for judges of this court. According to a survey carried out by the Center for Investigative Journalism, mother of former chairman of the court Oleg Melniciuc and his relatives received apartments and commercial spaces in the residential block on str. Hristo Botev, 6 in Chisinau, which is currently being built for magistrates of Rascani District Court in the capital and for their children. The magistrate himself who initially said that he owned a house but he would like some apartments for his children, did not buy anything in that building except a commercial space. The investigation showed that the chairman of the Superior Council of Magistrates, Victor Micu received an apartment in this block by a separate decision and in the absence of any request.
These are not the only transactions of the company Exfactor-Grup SRL with the state. Other about 10.5 million lei were attributed to the current repair works of offices in the Buiucani District Court. Thus, on August 22, 2011, Exfactor-Grup SRL signed a contract worth 10.4 million lei for capital repair of the court. A year later, the other nearly 100,000 were allocated for current repair works of the offices at Buiucani District Court.
Oleg Melniciuc, former chairman of Rascani District Court of the capital, sees nothing wrong in the fact that the company that renovated the court, built a block of flats for the judges of this court. " Only 2 economic units participated in the first tender that was organized for the construction of the attic-like apartments and this did not enable the organization of the tender because there should be at least 3 tender offers. A second tender was announced involving six companies, of which two were disqualified by the Commission because they did not have experience and necessary equipment. Of the other four proposals, the Commission designated Exfactor’s offer as the most advantageous at the lowest price. I want to say that this company successfully carried out the project, or the attic-type apartments was built in winter, within six months. I believe that such a complicated construction in such limited terms has never been built in Chisinau and all Moldova", said Oleg Melniciuc.
The fact that the attic-type apartments was built so quickly did not affect the quality of works, says the judge: "You can come and see. Construction is quality and comfortable”. He stressed that namely the quality and the term of works execution determined the designation of company Exfactor as winner of many tenders, including for the construction of the block of flats for judges. "Believe me, I am very pleased that the tender commission has selected this company and we carried out the project in a short period of time, and we did not exceed budget. The works are very qualitative. I have no claims against this company. Come and see. There is terracotta worth 950 lei, not from the offer of 90 lei, the doors are very beautiful. They did well with own money", said Oleg Melniciuc.
In turn, Vladimir Tonu, director of Exfactor group, argues that there is no link between the two projects. "As for the residential block in Botanica, there are apartments both for Rascani District Court and for the Constitutional Court", said the businessman. According to Vladimir Tonu, the company manages to get more contracts with the state and private sector due to its abilities.
"We have about 700 employees; we participate in many projects, both private and state. We participate in 3-4 tenders monthly but we do not win all of them. There are many companies, but not all of them have real labor capacity, possibility to invest because in the past few years, the state does not provide advance and we won many tenders only because we came up with points in our offers saying that we were ready to invest from our sources and we get the money back upon completion", said Vladimir Tonu.
Exfactor-Grup SRL Company was founded on January 30, 2001 by Vladimir Tonu. The company has a social capital of over four million lei, and the 2012 financial report showed sales revenues amounted at 56.2 million lei. Vladimir Tonu is founder of five other companies, mostly in the construction industry - SRL Transgrupservice, SRL TGS Grupservice, SRL Profis-Impex, SRL Transgrupspedition and by Exfactor-Grup SRL - SRL Exfactor-Grup Construct.
In 2011, the company Exfactor-group was involved in a scandal of a monument demolition on str. Sarmizegetusa 48/12. The company sued the Chisinau Municipal Council, City Hall Chisinau and the Ministry of Culture demanding that the refusal of the authority to grant authorization for the monument demolition should be declared illegal. The City Hall said that this was a historical and architectural monument of national importance, part of the building complex of the School of Horticulture and Viticulture (located on Sarmizegetusa str. 48). The building is included in the Register of Monuments in Moldova. Exfactor-Grup considered the refusal of the City Hall as illegal, arguing that the building for which demolition permit is requested, is located on str. Sarmisegetusa 48/12 and thus gained the case at court. The monument was demolished after SCJ favored Exfactor-Grup SRL in late 2011. According to data from the Cadastre, currently, several blocks of flats built by the company of Vladimir Tonu, are located on this place.
An investigation by the Center for Investigative Journalism reveals that the company of Vladimir Tonu managed construction and modernization works of Chisinau International Airport. Exfactor group was employed by Avia Invest as a general contractor. "When the company started works, founder of Exfactor Grup, Vladimir Tonu, set a new company, Exfactor Grup Construct, who took over the businesses with Avia Invest. From last summer up to present, Avia Invest transferred to Vladimir Tonu’s company, 20.683 million Euros for works at the airport and on December 19, 2014, Avia Invest transferred to the company 262.8 million lei as prepayment. On the same day, Exfactor Construct Group signed a contract by which money was transferred in advance to Aviaconsulting company that has committed to deliver 21905.7 tons of bitumen, though the company is specialized in aviation and consulting services, not construction works ", reads the investigation. Vladimir Tonu lives in Rascani sector, in a 187- square-meter apartment, with a cadastral value of over 1.2 million lei.
Hidden interests in Botanica District Court’s reconstruction
According to data from the Public Procurement Agency (PPA), 4 companies gained procurement contracts for construction and repair works of Botanica District Court. They are: Carpeni, Carpeni Favor, Altanivcons F and IMP Chisinauproiect.
A contract over ten million lei for building an addition floor at Botanica Court was concluded on May 23, 2012 with the company Carpeni SRL. Subsequently, in mid-December 2013, it signed a pay rise agreement, worth 1.5 million lei. Carpeni SRL is affiliated to former Liberal-Democrat MP Ivan Ionaş, who died in November 2014 and this company is registered on his wife’s name, Alexandra Ionas. The company has a social capital of 1.2 million lei and in 2012 reported sales revenues of 25.3 million lei.
Data from PPA show that company Carpeni gained in the past 5 years state agreements worth 94.6 million lei. Only in district Cantemir, where Ivan Ionas was district councilor, the company gained agreements worth over 15 million lei. After the death of the MP, the company gained a single agreement totaling three million lei.
In 2013, the company Carpeni SRL was involved in a scandal over the construction of a kindergarten in the village Porumbesti, district Cantemir for which it gained a procurement agreement. In an article published on the portal Moldova Curata, reporters quoted Sergiu Mocanu, leader of the Movement "Antimafia", who said in a press conference that the tender in Porumbesti was gained illegally, and the MP Ionas seized the state money. The MP rejected the allegations.
A procurement agreement and a pay rise agreement totaling 780,000 lei for current repair of offices at Botanica District Court, were concluded with the company Altanivcons-F SRL in 2011. It was founded in February 2006 by brothers Tatiana and Alexandru Fusu. The company specializes in civil engineering constructions and under the 2012 report it reported sales revenues of about half a million lei. Legal address of the company is in a building on Calea Basarabiei which by acts is owned by Tatiana Fusu . The company Carpeni Favor SRL is registered on the same address and its founder and director is Dumitru Fusu, father of Alexandru and Tatiana Fusu. This company reported sales revenues of almost half a million lei. Meanwhile, Carpeni Favor SRL gained a contract totaling over 400,000 lei for current repair of archive rooms in Botanica District Court basement.
Record-investments at Court of Appeal Chisinau
Significant sums of money were invested at the Court of Appeal Chisinau for construction works of expansion and floors addition. In 2013, before the tender for selecting the entity that would carry out the project was organized, the works were valued at 78 million lei. Company MCI & Co-Construct SRL proposed 64 million lei, and was nominated winner. In October 2015, an additional pay rise agreement was signed, totaling 18 million lei. Thus, in the end, reconstruction and expansion of Appeal Court building cost over 82 million lei, which exceeded by four millions the initial evaluation work. In an article from September 2015, reporters of Ziarul de Garda showed the hidden interests in the reconstruction of the Court of Appeal. Company MCI & Co-Construct SRL that developed the project is owned by Pavel Caba, former party colleague of Ion Plesca, chairman of the Court of Appeal Chisinau. "Pavel Caba is former municipal councilor of Our Moldova Alliance (AMN). In 2010, he joined the Liberal- Democratic Party and he is still member of this party, according to party website.
Since 2012, he has been municipal councilor of the Liberal Democratic Party in Moldova. But, until 2010 Caba was party colleague with Ion Plesca, current chairman of the Court of Accounts Chisinau, the institution that organized the tender for developing repair and reconstruction works of the court”, wrote the reporters.
An audit of the Court of Accounts on 2011-2016 Justice Sector Reform Strategy implementation, made public on November 30, 2016, shows that reconstruction works of the building of the Court of Appeal were poorly planned and were not executed on time. The audit found the pay rise of the final contract value by almost 18 million lei. Thus, the final amount, 82 million lei, represent a pay rise by 28% compared to the sum in the initial contract (64.7 million lei). "Consequently, errors in design and layout significantly affected both planning the necessary means and the non-execution of construction works in set terms, and the period of execution was extended by one year”, says the authors of the report.
Ion Plesca said that the institution had requested additional pay rise totaling 18 million lei because during renovations, there were found "a number of hidden works." "In many cases, neither the person who handled the design could foresee them, such as underground engineering installations which no one knew whose institutions own them", said the judge in the sitting of the Court, stating that the work is under completion.
Court in Leova, repaired by the company of a town councilor
According to data of the Public Procurement Agency, agreements worth 2,1 million lei were concluded for the reparation of the court in Leova. Two companies Conimob Impex and Favorit Carcea Individual Enterprise did the renovations.
The first agreement totaling 1,4 million lei was signed in June 2011 with the company Conimob Impex. Then an additional pay rise agreement totaling 33.000 lei was signed in November 2011. The company specialized in design and constructions were registered in March, 2003 and was founded by Vlad Uscatu and Iurie Goreanu. The last financial report, presented in 2012 shows that the company received sales revenues totaling about 265.000 lei.
Another procurement agreement, this time for the reconstruction of the court’s roof was concluded on August 7, 2013 with the company State Enterprise Favorit Carcea. The individual enterprise, specialized in general construction of buildings, was registered in 1993 with 0 (zero) lei, and according to the last financial report presented in 2012, it received sales revenues of over half of millions of lei. Between 2011 and 2016, the company concluded procurement agreements with different institutions in district Leova, totaling about 3,8 million lei. In documents, the founder and the manager of the company is Raisa Carcea. De facto, her husband Vladimir Carcea manages the business. In 2015, he candidated for the seat of mayor of the town Leova on the lists of the Socialist Party. In the electoral campaign, he made a donation totaling 30 thousands lei to the party. Vladimir Carcea lost the elections and was elected in Leova Town Council.
Court Cantemir, repaired by the company of a relative of Cahul Court chairman
A procurement agreement worth 3,3 million lei was concluded in December 2011 with the Stock Company Rubin-216 for interior reconstruction works of the Court Cantemir. The company, specialized in general construction of buildings, was registered in 1995 and according to the last financial report, presented in 2012, it registered sales revenues totaling 5,6 million lei. According to data from Public Procurement Agency, in the past 5 years, the company gained tenders worth about 7.7 million lei for construction works in the south of Moldova, mainly in Cahul. The company is managed by Mihail Guslicov. His daughter, Anna Bojenco, is the god-daughter of Dmitri Fujenco, chairman of the Court Cahul. He actively comments Anna Bojenco’s photos on socialization networks.
We tried to get a comment from Tudor Berdila, chairman of the Court Cantemir about connection of Guslicov with Fujenco and selection of the winner of this tender. Berdila lives in Cahul and he vehemently denied any influence from his colleague in Cahul over selecting the winner of the tender.
"We renovated the court Cantemir from basement to roof change, internal re-planning, building new offices with equipment procurement. Over 3,5 million lei was spent for these works. When the tender was announced, we did not know who is going to participate in this contest, I did not know anything. They participated and they won. In Moldova, all of us know each other, we are god fathers so there should not be made any connection. It's absurd! If tomorrow I get to know someone, is it forbidden? It is not polite to ask such questions ", said Tudor Berdila.
Court in Taraclia, repaired by the company of a local councilor in UTA Gagauzia
According to data from the Public Procurement Agency, agreement totaling 3,5 million lei were concluded for the repair of Taraclia court. Three companies were involved in renovation: Amborio SRL, Stroitehnologia and Atelierul de Creație Arhitectonica Pasecinik Individual Enterprise.
The first agreement totaling 2,6 million lei was concluded on August 8, 2014 with the company Amborio SRL. Other 2 additional pay rise agreements totaling about 313.000 lei each were signed on May 15, 2015. The company, specialized in general construction of buildings, was registered on April 24, 2002, was founded and is managed by Nicolai Chiseev, councilor in the Town Council in Ceadir Lunga. According to the last financial report presented in 2012, the company received sales revenues totaling 6 million lei.
Chiseev is member of the administration council of a public institution – Business Incubator in Ceadir Lunga. Company Amborio SRL gained in the past years agreements totaling over 16 million lei, signed with different public institutions from UTA Gagauzia and from some districts on the south of the country. The company has its legal address on str. Molodiojnaia 9/1, in town Ceadir-Lunga. Data from Cadaster confirm that the land and the constructions placed on this territory are owned by the company Amborio SRL, and were attributed to it based on decisions of the local Council from 2004 and 2006 and on some sales agreements. Nicolai Chiseev’s brother, Dmitrii Chiseev has connections with the political world. He was a candidate on the lists of the Democratic Party in Moldova in the 2009 parliamentary elections.
Many companies included in reports of the Court of Accounts renovated Briceni and Nisporeni Courts
Briceni Court was repaired and rebuilt in 2013 and 2014 and the works were performed by Constructgaz SRL. The first procurement agreement, for works of roof repair, was concluded in mid-December, 2013 and the second agreement that stipulated works of capital repair was signed in May, 2014. Also, an additional pay rise agreement was signed in late November the same year. In all, the sum of agreement signed with company Constructgaz SRL totaled 2,3 million lei, show data from tender.gov.md. The company, specialized in“ construction works that need special preparation” was registered on August 1, 2006 and has a social capital totaling 2,4 million lei. According to the last financial report, presented in 2012, the company registered sales revenues of over 7,7 million lei. Constructgaz SRL was founded by Diana Revenco and her father Anatolie Rusu, manager of the company. The legal address of the company is in the house of Rusu. While we were investigating this article, the name of Diana Revenco disappeared from the list of founders at the State Registration Chamber, and it was replaced by the name of the company. Thus, according to recent data, SC Constructgaz SRL was founded by Rusu Anatolie and by SC Constructgaz SRL.
The construction company that repaired the building of the Court Briceni is the favorite one for the majority of public institutions in this district. Thus, in the past 5 years, the company gained public tenders totaling 36,6 million lei. Also, the name of the company appeared in many reports of the Court of Accounts. In 2011, the Court of Accounts revealed many irregularities committed by some public institutions in district Briceni that contracted the company Constructgaz SRL. Thus, auditors of the Court of Accounts found that in the absence of approving a project of works execution and of the specification by the deliberative authority, District Hospital Briceni developed the procurement procedure of works for capital reparation of the Section of Reanimation, and signed a procurement agreement totaling 1,6 million lei with S.C. Constructgaz SRL. According to the report, neither the responsibles within the hospital nor of the executive authority monitored the processes of contracting, execution and funding of these works, which is why, the limit of the value of the agreement exceeded by 205,4 thousands lei. The same audit report shows that in 2008-2009, in the absence of planning the district budget for funding capital repairs of the Police Commissariat Briceni and of the offices in the basement of the building of the District Council, such works were executed, and the same entrepreneur– S.C. Constructgaz SRL was contracted, that received almost one million lei. The works of capital repair were organized in the absence of the project documentation. The auditors found that the procedure of contest organization and contract selection for basement reparation of the district Council was developed with violations as there are not proofs on early remission of the invitations for participation in the contest based on procedures of price offers. Also, the process on contest organization, selection and signing of the work contracted out were performed in one day- February 28, 2009. Also, given lack of funding sources for repair works in both cases, these were not paid by the beneficiaries, which is why, S.C. Constructgaz SRL initiated 2 lawsuits and won them.
Name of Constructgaz SRL appears in the case of the reconstruction of the Youth Center in commune Larga, Briceni. Six economic units participated in the tender organized in February, 2008. After the offers were examined and assessed, the winner was appointed Constructgaz SRL, that proposed the lowest price- 1,71 million lei, by almost 200.000 lei less than the estimate and expertise value. According to the report of the Court of Accounts, subsequently based on an additional agreement, they requested an additional pay rise agreement by 30,0% (512,9 thousands lei). Arguments for increasing the value of the contract are not credible, found auditors of the Court of Accounts. At the same time, they determined that some works included by the contractor in the minutes and paid by the beneficiary, were not executed. This construction does not have wooden doors, while the contractor included them in the minutes and the beneficiary paid works of wooden doors installation, totaling 38 700 lei.
Court in Nisporeni was repaired in the period 2014-2015, and the works were performed by Nisprofcon SRL. The first procurement agreement, for works of building’s repair and area arrangement, was signed in November, 2014. Eight months later, on July 23 2015, an additional pay rise agreement was signed. In all, the sum of agreements signed with company Nisprofcon SRL reached a total of 2,5 million lei, show data on tender.gov.md. The company specialized in „ civil engineering constructions”, was registered on July 10, 2006 and the last financial report, presented in 2012 shows that the company registers sales revenues totaling almost 13 million lei. Nisprofcon SRL was founded by Gheorghe Gutanu and is managed by his son Pavel Gutanu. In the past 5 years, the company concluded hundreds of procurement agreements with different authorities in the country, with a total value of over 127 million lei.
Previously, company Nisprofcon SRL was mentioned in an investigation of the Center for Investigative Journalism and the reporters revealed that the Energy Efficiency Fund approved in the past years funding of almost half of billion lei for thermal isolation, windows and doors replacement and for installing public lightening in different settlements in Moldova and most of this money was provided to settlements managed by democrat mayors. Moreover, the company in Nisporeni is mentioned in a report of the Court of Accounts.
„Auditors of the Court found many irregularities in the process of contracting companies that perform energy efficiency projects. Either they did not respect the conditions of tenders’ organization, or specification was not coordinated with the Energy Efficiency Fund and in many cases the contracted companies requested signing of additional pay rise agreements. As for the grant agreements, if stipulations from the specification are not respected or are not coordinated with the Energy Efficiency Fund, the Fund can reject the money disbursement. On February 20, the district council Nisporeni signed a procurement agreement with the company Nisprofcon for reconstruction works of the cinema «Luceafarul» in the town. The works were supposed to cost 14,657 million lei. In the next 2 years, the company requested 3 times rise in price to the works, so that the cost increased by over 4 million lei or 27%. The Court of Accounts found that in this case, the winning company did not meet the conditions set in the tender and showed a short experience of activity for the amount of works that was supposed to be performed. The same company won in May, 2014 the tender for execution of thermal isolation works in kindergarten «Povestea» in town Nisporeni, another project funded by the Energy Efficiency Fund. The agreement totaling 2,294 million lei has increased by almost 500 thousands lei, for additional works which were not initially stipulated by the project. Pavel Gutanu pointed that request for a pay rise to the agreement is not a violation, because the decisions to perform some additional works were taken by a special commission”, reads the investigation.
Expert: „Centralized procurements should be applied for courts”
Nadejda Hriptievschi, program director at the Center for Legal Resources in Moldova considers that centralized procurements should be applied for courts, through the Courts Management Agency. „ There is also the problem of the public procurement system that does not function. If the company increased by 2-3 times the budget during the works performance, it means that the first offer either was under the limit just to win it based on price criteria ( which means a fraudulent offer), either the company is not able to make fair estimates and should be excluded from the contest. It is the problem of the judiciary system, that does not consider the findings of the Court of Accounts and accepts winning companies that request rises. These problems show the urgent need to transfer any procurement to the Courts Management Agency that must deal with centralized investments in the judiciary and strictly respect the legislation on public procurement”, said Nadejda Hriptievschi.
Olesea Stamate, director of the Association for an Efficient and Responsible Governance considers that the situation is serious. „Except the faulty planning, which is a major problem for the public sector in Moldova, this investigation highlights again the findings on winning contracts from public funds by decision makers’ “friendly” companies or worse, by companies shown in a negative light in the reports of the Court of Accounts”, said the expert.
This investigation has been produced as part of the “Journalists for Integrity in Public Service” campaign, carried out by the Center for Investigative Journalism with the support of the Good Governance Program of Soros Foundation Moldova. The donor does not influence the topic or content of the published investigations.
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A few days after Igor Dodon was sworn-in as president on December 26, he presented his team of advisors elected for a four-year term. Most of them were part of communist government and some of them backed the Socialist Party in Moldova (PSRM) led by Igor Dodon, either by active involvement in the activities of the party or generous donations during election campaigns in recent years. Ion Ceban, one of the most generous donors in the presidential elections Photo: CIJM Ion Ceban, 36, is the new spokesman of the president of the state and adviser on political affairs. As of July
Properties, businesses and interests of rectors of state universities
There are 31 high educational institutions in Moldova, of which 19 are state universities. Some rectors have managed the universities for 15-20 years. Only in 2014, when the new Education Code was implemented, it stipulated that rectors cannot serve more than two consecutive terms, of five years each. In addition to management and teaching activity, many of them got involved in politics – either by joining a party or offering the university as platform for politicians. Also, some of them have profitable businesses and luxury houses. Managers' salaries are not small. Center for Investigative Journalism analyzed incomes and properties
Luxury extradition of Veaceslav Platon: 2 charter flights and unknown overseers
Charter Gulfstream G200 Galaxy, Number T7-PRM lands on International Airport Chisinau on August 29 2016, at 22:00. Controversial businessman Veaceslav Platon, being handcuffed and extradited urgently from Ukraine, steps off the plane. This scene is followed by the passengers of another charter flight, that landed within 12 minutes on Chisinau International Airport. The takeoff distance from Juliani Airport in Kiev of both planes was 7 minutes. Veaceslav Platon is criminally investigated for fraud and money laundering in huge proportions in "Russian laundromat". On July 25th, an arrest warrant for 30 days was issued on the name of Veaceslav Platon and he is wanted internationally. The
Igor Dodon and denigrating flyers about Maia Sandu
Flyers containing denigrating and manipulating messages about the candidate of the Party Action and Solidarity Maia Sandu are shared in full presidential campaign both in the capital and in the districts. The flyers warning about a possible invasion of refugees in Moldova, close of kindergartens, disappearance of villages and "danger" of homosexuals, do not contain information about the author of printed flyers, the number of flyers and the money used for them, which contravenes to the electoral law. General Police Inspectorate argues that they are investigating the case. Reporters of the Center for Investigative Journalism found who planned the spread
Anabolics mafia. The clandestine road of steroids from Moldova to foreign sportspeople
The Republic of Moldova is among the top global manufacturers of anabolic steroids, illegal substances in the majority of EU states, the USA, as well as Russia. Corruption, lax legislation and the political protectionism easily obtained have created conditions for the development of a huge industry of anabolics in our country, which are in great demand on the black market around the world. Nowadays, at least seven factories producing anabolics are operating in Moldova, four of which are clandestine laboratories. Legal manufacturers of anabolics allegedly get protection from a former Romanian senator, a prominent Moldovan businessman and a former
All MPs from 2009 know him by sight. He acted discreetly at almost all parliamentary meetings over the past 7 years with the participation of deputy-chairman of the Democratic Party Vlad Plahotniuc. However, the name of Serghei Iaralov was first mentioned in the context of the fraud from the banking system on October 15 2015, several minutes before the National Anti-corruption Center’s officers arrested Vlad Filat, chairman of the Liberal Democratic Party. He revealed for the first time from the Parliament’s rostrum that Iaralov participated „in all discussions and deals” related to Banca de Economii (BEM). The businessman was
Spokesman of Chisinau City Hall, with a luxury house and beneficiary of financial aid from budget
Vadim Branzaniuc, aged 33, managed to get a fortune of some millions of lei in just two years while he served as Head of the Division of Public Relations of the City Hall. Meanwhile, the civil servant was elected interim secretary of the Chisinau Municipal Council. He owns a two-story house in Petricani, Riscani sector, which he built in 2012-2014, show cadastral documents. The house has an accessory building and a garage for two cars. Letter “B” (first letter of his surname) is printed on the front wall of the house. Except this luxury house, in 2013 Branzaniuc received
Drone filming // Democrat Constantin Botnari fenced illegally 40 acres of forest?
Democrat MP Constantin Botnari who accompanies the controversial businessman Vlad Plahotniuc in public, tendered his resignation last week. Officially, he has modest incomes, but in the period when he was MP, he built a luxury house in the forest near Durlesti, suburb of the capital. His house reminds of the White House in Washington. A drone filming makes us believe that the land of about 21 acres was too small for the house, so the democrat MP fenced 40 acres of forest. Both representatives of Moldsilva Agency and local authorities claim that forest is not leased since 2012. Constantin Botnari
Hidden properties, businesses and interests of heads of state agencies (III)
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
Hidden properties, businesses and interests of heads of state agencies (II)
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,
Hidden properties, businesses and interests of heads of state agencies (I)
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. Anatolie Ghilas, director of Cadastre, the controversial multimillionaire
Filip Government: interests, properties and businesses
The Government headed by Pavel Filip has in its componence new names, but they are known in political field. The majority of new-old ministers were part of the investigations carried out previously by the Center for Investigative Journalism that revealed the hidden interests and businesses of their families. Pavel Filip, Prime-Minister Pavel Filip was elected Minister of Information Technology and Communication in 2011. He was director of the Enterprise "Bucuria" between 2001-2008. Before that, he worked for different offices in the same enterprise. Then, in 2008, he managed the enterprise "Tutun-CTC", until he was appointed head of the Ministry. According to the
MPs business: Liberal-democrats and non-affiliated MPs who vote for Pavel Filip in the Parliament
The parliamentary majority, ready to support the democrat Pavel Filip for the office of PM could not be established without the 7 liberal-democrats and 3 non-affiliated MPs. In the context of street protests, some of them withdrew their signatures when PD insisted on the candidacy of Vlad Plahotniuc. They changed their mind when Pavel Filip was proposed for premiership. Media wrote that the 7 liberal-democrats were called by Vlad Filat, arrested for corruption acts, to vote with the democratic candidate. Contacted by Anticoruptie.md, some of them denied it. Last week, we presented the profiles of the runners from PCRM.
The MP business: who are the converts ready to vote for the PD candidate for premiership
14 MPs quitted PCRM late last year, announcing that they no longer want to make the games of this faction. The runners (defectors) gathered in the social-democratic Platform "For Moldova" and they had the first official meeting with Plahotniuc. He returned to politics to become the candidate of PD for the post of prime minister. All 14 MPs helped to the creation of the parliamentary majority, they are ready to vote with the controversial businessman for the office of premiership. It is curious the fact that legislators, along with their colleagues that remained in PCRM and the Liberal Democrats,
Moldovagaz: Luxury houses and agreements signed between family members
Agreements of collaboration have been signed in the last three years between enterprises founded by Moldovagaz and companies affiliated to the family of the head of the Administration Council of the enterprise, Alexandru Gusev. Based on these agreements, private and “independent” economic units perform the metering certification of natural gas distributed to consumers and they control the quality of natural gas on the territory of the Republic of Moldova. Also, currently all gas distribution companies managed by Moldovagaz have certificates of conformity to natural gas quality issued by a company managed by family members of Gusev. The Law № 235
Property of Heads from the National Energy Regulatory Agency: Unreported houses, luxury cars, plots of land and businesses
Officially, the increase in electricity tariffs will affect the four directors of the National Energy Regulatory Agency (ANRE) that approved the new tariffs. This is because at least two of them live in luxury apartments with a surface of over 100 sqm and their maintenance will increase considerably. On the other hand, the salaries of the four directors estimated at over 50 thousand lei per month and the businesses they manage will probably help them to cope easier with these increases. The National Energy Regulatory Agency (ANRE), an institution implementing the state policy on the regulation of energy sectors, decided
Six years at the Customs Service: businesses and properties of Balitchi family
Tudor Balitchi, head of the Customs Service of the Republic of Moldova lives in an apartment of 200 square meters, registered on his sister’s name. In recent years, his sister, established in the US and his mother, a doctor by profession, now retired, have become owners of more plots for construction worth millions of lei and placed at the outskirts of Chisinau. Also, Balitchi’ s mother together with the director of the Factory Rogob founded in 2015 a company that has declared activities in construction. Tudor Balitchi and his wife are also the founders of companies, although the Law
Businesses, assets and interests of deputy ministers from Strelet Government (II)
Amongst deputy ministers promoted in the Strelet Government there are rich and poor, with thriving and less active businesses, with clean or less clean records. Even if the new public office is incompatible with any other paid post some new deputies continue to administer businesses, some of them in the very field where they have been promoted. Reporters of the Center for Investigative Journalism have X-rayed the declarations of assets and interests of the second level officials of ministries, have checked them through various open databases and we propose below for your attention what assets and interests these Strelet
Businesses, assets and interests of deputy ministers from Strelet Government (I)
Streleț Government: interests, business and assets
The government led by Valeriu Strelet voted for by liberal democrats, democrats and liberals, is made up of several new names, but which are not unaffiliated to politics. Most new-old ministers were featured in previous investigations of the Center for Investigative Journalism which revealed hidden interests and businesses run by their families. Valeriu Streleț – Prime Minister Valeriu Streleț has been an MP since 2009. Although he has been involved in politics for years, the premier also has run lucrative businesses and a part of his wealth acquired while he was in Parliament. The politician is the sole owner of Bioprotect Ltd.
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