The head of the government of Moldova Sandu published on Thursday, July 11, declassified an information note describing a major scheme of tax evasion.
In a paper published Maia Sandu said on his page on Facebook, indicated that 75% of goods declared for sale in duty-free, in fact, illegally got on the territory of Moldova. And some products even falling on the warehouses duty-free, they were immediately supplied, and part of the goods transported in the Ukraine and Romania.
“The scheme was organized in conjunction with the staff of the duty-free shops. This was facilitated by the fact that the positions in duty-free shops took the wives of the customs officers and pogranpolitsii”, — the document says.
In addition, a briefing note says that after the legislative changes in the year 2015 accommodates duty-free shops on the Transnistrian segment of the Moldovan-Ukrainian border. “Operational data indicates that the majority of cigarettes goes to the groups that specialize in smuggling cigarettes to EU countries”, — stated in the document.
“This scheme will be stopped for this to happen, the Parliament as quickly as possible adopted in the final reading a draft law prohibiting the operation of duty-free shops in Moldova”, wrote the Prime Minister in the published message.
In the first reading the bill was adopted in June 2019.
On the same day, the adviser Maia Sandu on foreign Affairs Vladislav kulminski also the same in a message on his page on Facebook accused the Ambassador of Moldova in Austria, Viktor Osipov of involvement in the schemes of cigarette smuggling through Transnistria. Stores opened in 2015, when Osipov had been Deputy Prime Minister for reintegration.
“Cigarette smuggling was controlled by the Moldovan authorities. For the Moldovan politicians, who controlled the customs, interior Ministry and border guards it was always a quick way to make money. The money went into the envelopes for Ministers, MPs and other government officials. In 2014, after Transnistria has passed the 10 billion cigarettes. The volume of smuggling has increased significantly in 2019 only in may, almost a billion cigarettes,” — said’minskaya.
Earlier, on 9 July, another loud statement was made by economy Minister Vadim Brinzan, saying at a press conference that people close to the former leader of the PDM Vladimir Plahotniuc, received 400 million lei (20 million euros) per month through the illegal schemes in force in the state of Moldova. The names of those who are behind the organization’s schemes, he did not name.
The head of the center for political consulting Poliexpert Igor Volnitski believes that the authorities make such statements to meet the expectations of the society.
Igor Volnitski: “Why the current government is doing too many loud statements? Because in society there is a certain level of expectations, and they are trying to reach this level, because otherwise all this will turn against them. My friend, a well-known journalist told me — the previous government was installed by lawlessness, though these are so. There are two choices for the current government: the first to reach the level of these expectations, but thus they are highly at risk of becoming the same political forces which still were in power in Moldova. The second option is to try to explain to people the truth. For instance, say we know you expect from us blood, figuratively speaking, but we can’t do it.”
The analyst touched and cleansing staff, which holds the new leadership of Moldova. Wolnicki believes that the layoffs affected and professionals. However, he said that such measures will serve as a lesson “just in case, if official whom dismissed from the post, actually committed illegal actions”.
Igor Volnitski: “Yes, there are cases when some involved in politics, but under this ice rink layoffs are professionals. The current government has sent a strong message to the society that they operate on the same principle as the previous government. Any power, as she had not applied myself from the beginning, at some point wants to change the former only because they worked with others, and to put their, because we have good people, they worked during the election and they deserved it. But that’s not the argument.”
In addition, last week resigned at his own request was filed by the Prosecutor General of Moldova Eduard Harunjen. Officials until recently refused to leave his post and announced his decision after the Parliament has found a relatively legitimate way of dismissal. The fact that on 9 July the Parliament declared the appointment Harungana for the post of public Prosecutor illegal, creating an opportunity for the President Igor Dodon to send him into retirement.
Wolnicki believes that the voluntary resignation of the public Prosecutor to a certain extent, saved the reputation of the new government of Moldova.
Igor Volnitski: “Gospodin Harrigan had to be dismissed because he represented the regime. In my opinion, if Mr. Haronian has not submitted himself to resign, and it would be removed, it would be a gross violation and a dangerous precedent for Moldova. It had to be removed, but the current government was ready to work by the same methods as the previous government. Mr. Harounian deserves the thanks, because he saved everyone”.
Earlier the Minister of internal Affairs Andrei Nastase accused Harungana aiding and abetting the seizure of power in Moldova in June this year, the democratic party and its former Chairman Vladimir Plahotniuc.