Moldova accuses FSB of money laundering

Moldova accuses FSB of money laundering

18 high-profile local officials, including the management of the National Bank and judges, are involved in the criminal case of money laundering.

The Prosecutor General's Office of Moldova filed lawsuits against 14 judges. Another judge was placed on the wanted list, and one died, so the criminal case against him was dismissed. There are also four bailiffs in the case. One of them is wanted, the case against another one is under investigation.

The charges were also brought against the vice-chairman and three heads of the National Bank of Moldova. In addition, police detained nine employees of a commercial bank used to launder the money, RIA Novosti reported.

According to Moldovan law enforcers, $22 billion passed through local banks in the between 2010 and 2013. The money came mainly from Russia, and then it was transferred to Great Britain, Germany, Austria, Sweden, Finland, and other European countries.

The criminal scheme implied setting up two shell companies in Russia and opening an account in a Moldovan bank. Then, one of them submitted a request for to pay bills to another one. That company refused, but since the guarantor was a Moldovan citizen, the local court obliged him to pay the bill. This way the money was transferred to Moldova. Judges were complicit in the crimes and issued resolutions with a number of violations.

The Prosecutor General's Office of Moldova stated that the criminal scheme could not have been implemented without coverage by the Federal Security Service of Russia (FSB). One of the key links was a Moldovan businessman and former MP Vyacheslav Platon. At home, he is called "CIS #1 raider". In the summer of 2016, he was detained by Ukrainian security forces.

Moreover, the Moldovan prosecutor's office believes that the FSB used part of the withdrawn money "to promote Russia's interests" in Moldova.

Also, the Moldovan authorities accuse the Russian special services of putting pressure on their officials who were on official business in Moscow. For example, some time ago, Deputy Attorney General of Moldova Yuri Garabu was detained at a Moscow airport, despite the fact that he arrived in Russia on an official visit with the delegation. Besides, a Moldovan Interior Ministry official was detained and interrogated 35 times. In total, the Moldovan authorities speak of 25 officials who have been subjected to pressure from the Russian special services over the past few months. These circumstances have already led to cooler relations between the two countries. The Prime Minister of Moldova and the Speaker of the Parliament even passed a note of protest to the Russian ambassador.

According to the Moldovan side, by doing that, the Russian authorities are dragging out the process of investigating the money laundering case and are avenging the special services for their accusations.

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