The Council Of Europe Is To Investigate Human Rights Abuse And Fraud In Moldova

A team of investigators will visit in September to try to unravel the disappearance of a €1 billion loan paid into Moldovan banks

The decision to visit the land-locked country, wedged between Romania and Ukraine, came after a Moldovan delegation addressed the Council of Europe on Thursday (April 27th 2017) in Strasbourg.

After the meeting Mr Ilian Casu, a Moldovan Municipal Councillor, said: “The Council is keen to help after we presented a most convincing case.

“Moldova is blighted by pervasive, ubiquitous corruption at all levels and in all its institutions.

“Over the last six years the country has gone from being hailed as a ‘success story’ to a ‘captured state’.

“We are captive to Parliamentary vote buying, justice is for sale, and public money is mishandled – or simply stolen.

“And those who stand up to these iniquities are arrested on trumped up charges and thrown into prison.”

Moldova is said to be run by oligarch Vlad Plahotniuc; unelected, but with an iron grip on the country’s banks, justice system and political corruption.

He is the chairman of the ruling Democratic Party, but it’s a thin veil that masks his true influence. He is known as “the puppeteer”.

And, America has labelled him Moldova’s “most feared figure” with a politically “toxic” reputation.

It’s believed that Plahotniuc was behind the disappearance of a €1 billion loan paid into Moldovan banks.

The money “vanished” into off-shore havens, the United States, the EU and the UK.

Judges, politicians and lawyers are alleged to have been involved in helping to shift the vast sum.

But, it’s not just corruption that is preventing Moldova from progressing as a new modern country.

Any opposition to Plahotniuc is supressed swiftly.

Outspoken politician Renato Usatii, the Mayor of Balti – Moldova’s second city – is currently in exile in Russia.

Elena Gritco, a Municipal Councillor, said after the meeting: “If Renato returned he would be thrown into prison, and there is no doubt that he would be murdered.”

“Renato is helping overseas authorities to bring Plahotniuc to justice. He is a brave man who knows the dire consequences of talking.”

Detectives in London believe Mr Usatii can assist them with inquiries into the attempted murder of German Gorbuntsov four years ago at Canary Wharf.

The Russian tycoon was shot six times outside his apartment.

A Moldovan court has issued a warrant for Mr Usatii’s arrest for the assassination attempt.

Many other local politicians are also targeted by the authorities.

Victor Bogatico, the Mayor of Riscani, said: “I have been arrested now on seven made up charges. None of them has stuck. We are the victims of a corrupt state.”

Mr Casu added: “Hopefully the Council of Europe’s visit will expose the tyranny imposed upon the Moldovan people by these corrupt leaders.

“The Council’s fact finding mission is the beginning of our escape from these evil clutches, and Moldova can once again be a success story.”

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