Usatii: We pointed to the theft of hundreds of millions, and not only from Vodokanal. Will the National Center for Combating Corruption continue?
The NCCC’s investigation activities at the Beltsy Vodokanal, which take place one year after numerous appeals on the facts revealed by the audits commissioned by the order of Renato Usatii, hardly suggest that a miracle has finally happened and the regime has abandoned the practice of selective justice. Just the former leadership of Vodokanal, which is suspected of corruption, did not prove to be necessary for the Democratic Party, and after a year of never-ending reminders from the mayor’s office, the matter was nevertheless set going.
“Throughout 2015 and 2016, we applied to various law enforcement agencies so that they took certain measures in respect of various municipal enterprises. This is not just about the Beltsy Apa Canal municipal enterprise. It was immediately understandable, and many workers spoke about “phantom companies”. Simple workers told: we have phantom companies and the enterprise pays money to many companies that do not really provide any services,” – Usatii said in an interview with BTV channel.
The Mayor also recalled his statements “concerning the so-called “magical bookkeeper” of Apa Canal Mariana Bunescu (former financial director of the company – ed.), who, as I said a year and a half ago, is known to all special services of the country.” “By the way, some of them tried to keep her in this position,” – Usatii added.
The politician wonders why the investigating authorities do not react to other violations of the previous Beltsy authorities, revealed during the audits. “A year later, they could not longer cover the outrage that was going on in Apa Canal for many years, and they reacted because they do not need Bunescu and Korkodel, who did not become prominent figures of DPM in Beltsy and they decided to withdraw them. But we had the same situation with the “Association of Markets” municipal enterprise, where the previous authorities stole more than 100 million lei. Why there is no reaction today?” –Renato Usatii asks.
According to the Mayor, “when the profit immediately becomes many times greater than under the previous management, this is one hundred percent confirmation that money was put in pockets. Why there is no reaction?”
Renato Usatii has the answer: “Because those who received money from the markets, are in power today and represent the same Democratic Party in Beltsy. They occupy new positions and are covered by DPM”.
Usatii also gives an example with other economic agents. “Why is the case related to Glorin Engineering (the concessionaire of water disposal services in Beltsy – ed.) died out today, when sewage system was illegally given for concession to a group of fraudsters? Once they showed detention of Golberg (Igor Golberg, director – ed.) and others on all TV channels, but after that the topic was quietly hushed up. Although they were accused of the same crime: money laundering, transfer to some offshore companies that did not really provide any services. No measures were taken in connection with other economic agents in the city who illegally obtained particular facilities. Why there is no reaction upon the results of the audit held in the Beltsy municipal hospital, where the citizens of the city have been robbed for more than 10 years?”
“There is no reaction today, because, you see, they decided to keep this business,” – Usatii said. “If we talk about housing and communal services, about city lighting, which was examined showing that the city overpaid for the lights. Their price was overstated by 300-400 percent when purchasing. They do not meet the standards which the city paid money for and which today we continue to pay credit for.”
The mayor continued – “criminal cases on Cherny (Andrey Cherny, former director of the “Housing and Communal Services” Municipal Enterprise), who organized a lot of fraudulent schemes, are closed. Therefore, he is also somewhere in the deal and there are two options: either they hold him to provide with a position, or they feed him as a ram, in order to fry one day.”
“Sooner or later they have to be in charge of for all the crimes committed against the city, against the residents of the city,” – Renato Usatii stressed. – “I promised the residents that we would establish order at the municipal enterprises, and a lot of work was done. Most of them became profitable for the first time for 25 years,” – the Mayor noted.
Returning to the situation with the investigative actions finally started in the Vodokanal case, Usatii says that, perhaps, security officials are trying to show them something, for example, their objectivity, but the listed facts of silence on many other violations leave no doubt: it’s about some game of their own.
“At Apa Canal, let’s say, it is an attempt to show something. At the same time, they do not even report that the mayor applied to them, that these facts were revealed by us, and the CAN message was constructed as if this money laundering was taking place even when we were present. Why do not they say how many times they refused to initiate a case? For example, when the same Mariana Bunescu was caught while trying to carry over the black bookkeeping. She should have been arrested immediately. They did not. Let them tell how they tried to return Bunescu to this position? They will not tell it, because they are playing their game.”
In the same vein, Renato Usatii comments on the situation with recent detention of Kishinev officials led by Dorin Chirtoaca.
“They illegally handed over the parking lots, and illegally handed over the sewers in Beltsy. The same arrests were due in Beltsy a year ago, because we discovered it much earlier. And where is the intervention of the NCCC or the Anticorruption Prosecutor’s Office, connected with the “garbage mafia” in Beltsy? There is no intervention, because this mafia is covered today and, surely, receives some dividends in envelopes. Because these swindlers are not covered by anyone from the central authorities in Kishinev for no particular reason.”
Recall that the National Center for Combating Corruption initiated two criminal cases on the theft and laundering of more than 20 million lei by the former Beltsy authorities through the Apa-Canal Balti Municipal Enterprise.
The cases were reluctantly initiated after numerous appeals of the administration of the Beltsy mayor’s office due to the detected theft on an especially large scale and damage to the municipal budget.
The authorities do not yet provide details of the investigation, but it is known that the head of the office of the Democratic Party in Beltsy, the representative of the State Chancellery Oktavian Makhu, who until 2015 was the municipal councilor, and also the acting mayor of Beltsy, is involved in criminal schemes.
On Tuesday, May 30, anti-corruption officers and prosecutors conducted searches of 30 economic agents and 17 individuals in the northern and central regions of the country. In the course of investigative actions, black bookkeeping, information carriers and about 400,000 lei were seized.
As the acting mayor of Beltsy Igor Sheremet told journalists, the facts that became the basis for the searches were revealed as a result of audits conducted by the order of the Mayor of Beltsy Renato Usatii.
According to the investigation materials, the former management of the municipal enterprise concluded contracts with dozens of companies and individuals using its official position. Under the contracts, companies were required to provide Vodokanal with property and services, which actually did not exist. Thus, the municipal enterprise was damaged in the amount of about 20 million lei.
The OMEGA agency earlier reported that the Financial Inspectorate of the Ministry of Finance has discovered a number of grave financial crimes committed by the management of Apa-Canal Balti, under the auspices of the current government representative, Oktavian Makhu.
The Act based on the results of the inspection at the municipal enterprise held by the Financial Inspectorate of the Ministry of Finance, provides a number of grave financial crimes committed by the company’s management headed by the director Victor Korkodel and chief accountant Mariana Bunescu.
Only for the period from 2014 to the first half of 2016, the management of the Apa-Canal Balti municipal enterprise caused damage to the enterprise in the amount of about 11 (eleven) million lei.
The main source of damage was transfers for work not performed, or unjustified spending of enterprise funds.