Plahotniuc Case Submitted to Court: Assets Worth One Billion Lei Seized

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The criminal case against Vladimir Plahotniuc on the bank fraud charge was submitted to Court. The Anti-Corruption Prosecutor's Office said that the former PDM leader was accused of creating and leading a criminal organization, fraud and money laundering, reports. According to the evidence presented, during 2013-2014, Plahotniuc, being the actual beneficiary and manager through intermediaries of certain companies, received and used financial means totalling about 18,282,000 USD and 3,518,705 EUR. He did know that the money came from illegal sources, derived from fraudulent bank loans granted by BC Banca de Economii S.A., BC Unibank S.A. and BC Banca Socială S.A., commercial companies of the Șor Group. At the same time, during 2014-2015, the accused, being the beneficiary of a number of offshore companies, received and embezzled loan funds totalling $21,001,949 from Banca de Economii SA, a resident company managed by Ilan Șor and other companies managed by Vladimir Andronachi. The indictment against Vladimir Andronachi, who fraudulently obtained a bank loan of 32,865,000 lei from Banca de Economii through the above-mentioned company, is already pending in Court. Thus, during this period, Vladimir Plahotniuc received funds stolen from Banca de Economii, Unibank and Banca Socială in the total amount of 39,284,000 USD and 3,518,705 EUR. This money was used in his personal interests and in the interests of the criminal organization for the purchase of an Embraer Legacy 650 aircraft, charter flights, acquisition of movable and immovable property, payment for various services (legal, medical, tourism, repair and construction, etc.), business investments, organization of events, and repayment of debts. On 29 May 2023, the Chisinau Appeals Chamber rejected the lawyers' petition and upheld the decision of the Chisinau Court, which endorsed the Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s request regarding the completion of the criminal case in the absence of the accused. Thus, the investigation was completed in Plahotniuc's absence, and the 100-volume criminal case with a 370-page indictment was sent for examination to the Chisinau Court, where 51 witnesses for the prosecution are to appear. For now, Plahotniuc is under arrest for 30 days. At the same time, the Anti-Corruption Prosecutor's Office submitted a repeat request to the Interpol Central National Office in the Republic of Moldova for an additional application to the General Secretariat of the International Criminal Police Organization to declare Plahotniuc wanted internationally. For the crimes committed, the law provides a punishment of 8 to 15 years' imprisonment. In order to ensure compensation for the damage caused by the crime and possible special confiscation, assets that are owned by Vladimir Plahotniuc, worth more than one billion lei (1,105,866,900 lei) were seized, including construction lands, residential and non-residential premises, social capital of some enterprises, cultural and leisure facilities, cash, as well as assets abroad.