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The Rule of Law Index 2019: Moldova comparable to Vietnam and China

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The Republic of Moldova has reached an overall score of 0.49 for the Rule of Law Index 2019, according to the World Justice Project (WJP) Report. The score is calculated on a scale from 0 (the minimum score) to 1 (the maximum score). Therefore, Moldova ranks 83rd out of 126 countries globally and the 9th out of 13 countries at the regional level (Eastern Europe and Central Asia).

For one year, Moldova has not made any significant improvements. The 2019 score of Moldova remained the same as compared to 2018. An equal score was obtained by Vietnam and China at the global level, these countries being listed on the 81st and 82nd positions respectively. On the 84th and the 85th positions are listed El Salvador and Kyrgyzstan.

The Republic of Moldova obtained the lowest score for the following aspects: “lack of corruption” – 0.32, being ranked 109th out of 126 and “criminal justice” – 0.34, occupying the 97th position. For the aspect “order and security” Moldova got the best score from all 8 evaluated aspects (factors) – 0.8 out of 1 or the 28th position out of 126.

Source: The World Justice Project Rule of Law Index 2019 Report

The Rule of Law Index was also calculated by income. The Republic of Moldova was ranked the 11th out of 30 countries in the category “lower middle income”, after Vietnam and Ukraine.

At the top of the WJP Rule of Law Index for 2019 at the global level stand the Nordic countries –Denmark, Norway and Finland, followed by Sweden, Netherlands and Germany. The last positions are occupied by the Democratic Republic of Congo, Cambodia and Venezuela.

The study was conducted by the non-governmental organization “The World Justice Project” whose goal is to promote the rule of law for the development of equality and social opportunities in the world.

The Rule of Law Index 2019 presents a portrait of the rule of law in 126 countries by providing scores and rankings based on eight factors: constraints on government powers, absence of corruption, open government, fundamental rights, order and security, regulatory enforcement, civil justice, and criminal justice.

The country scores and rankings are derived from more than 120,000 household surveys and 3,800 expert surveys in the analysed countries and jurisdictions. The Index is the world’s most comprehensive dataset of its kind and the only to rely principally on primary data, measuring countries’ adherence to the rule of law from the perspective of ordinary people and their experiences.

According to the World Justice Project (WJP) report, an effective rule of law reduces corruption, combats poverty and disease, and protects people from injustices large and small. Everyone is affected by the issues of safety, rights, justice, and governance. That is why, the Rule of Law Index is one of the most important indicators that needs to be taken into consideration.

Photo: worldjusticeproject.org

Justice

The President of the Supreme Court of Justice was detained for a period of 72 hours

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The Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office (APO) announced today the 72-hour detention of the President of the Supreme Court of Justice (SCJ), Ion Druță, following the hearings held at the APO, based on the searches of his office and house, and identification of objects likely to confirm the illicit enrichment accusations, according to an announcement on the Prosecutor General’s Office website.

The statement says that Ion Druță’s detention was required as, given his status, he could influence other persons that are to be examined by the criminal prosecution.

Ion Druță filed, on October 1st, a request for resignation from the position of president of the SCJ according to Ziarul de Gardă. Although, the request has not yet been accepted by the Superior Council of Magistracy (SCM).

On September 24th, the SCM admitted the request of the interim prosecutor general, Dumitru Robu, for the lifting of the immunity of Ion Druță and gave the consent for his detention, forced entry and search. The Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office and the National Anti-corruption Centre conducted searches at Druță’s office and house.

The illicit enrichment proceeding was started by the interim general prosecutor on September 23rd, after the APO was informed by the Information and Security Service (ISS) that it had found “an essential discrepancy” between the declared legal income and the properties acquired by the members of the Druță’s family between 2016-2019.

Photo: crimemoldova.com

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Important

The Kroll 2 Report: 77 of Ilan Shor’s companies received $2,900,000,000 in loans

Kroll was contracted by the National Bank of Moldova on January 28, 2015, in order to investigate money laundering frauds in three banks: Banca de Economii, Banca Sociala and Unibank. The amount of the contract was not made public. The Kroll 2 report, published by the parliamentary investigation commission on bank fraud, spans 154 pages. However more details, such as company or person names, have been deleted.

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At the same time, the report does not contain the list of beneficiaries of bank fraud. Kroll 2 presents the schemes where bad loans were offered, but also how these funds have later circulated. The report contains the list of the 77 companies within the URB group, as well as the loans they have taken from the Moldovan banks.

In interviews, they were experts at Kroll with employees at Banca de Economii, and it was found that many relevant materials related to loans offered to Ilan Shor’s group were destroyed in suspicious circumstances of a fire in late November 2014.

The report states that between 1 January 2012 and 26 November 2014, the Banca de Economii, Banca Sociala and Unibank offered $2.9 billion in loans to companies in the Shor Group.

Money earned on loans was redirected to foreign accounts in the Latvian banks ABVL and Privatbank, through which they were laundered. These accounts appear to be open only for this purpose because they did not record any other transactions.

Another part of the loans was transferred to the bank accounts of the Republic of Moldova, Russia, but also other jurisdictions.

The loans went through a coordinated money-laundering process and then disappeared into several bank accounts.

Part of the loans offered to the companies in the Shor group remained in Moldova. The tracking of the initial destination of the funds showed that the amounts remained in the accounts held at the three banks or were transferred to other banks in Moldova to pay for other loans. At the same time, more money was mixed with other funds, so it was impossible to track them later.

Out of the 2.9 billion US dollars, Kroll points out that about 220 million US dollars remained in the Republic of Moldova and were used to repay loans from the Banca Sociala, Banca de Economii and Unibank, and other banks.

The full Kroll 2 report can be read here:

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Justice

Igor Dodon reveals: Over the last week, $50,000,000 has left Moldova

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President Igor Dodon announced that during the last week, $50,000,000 (1 bn lei) had been removed from the country. The head of state refused to give details but said that those involved are “close people from Plahotniuc’s entourage.”

The statement was made on Tuesday in an interview with Cotidianul.md. According to Igor Dodon, the information arrived on Monday, suggesting that it was presented by the SIS, where the new leadership began.

In this context, the president said that he is being pressured at the moment, threatening messages are being sent to him, warning not to interfere with criminal schemes.

Several properties registered with Finpar Invest Ltd., a core company in Vladimir Plahotniuc’s real estate, were seized by law enforcement in a money-laundering file. The stake in the scene was set by the Crime Recovery Agency on June 26, two weeks after the Democratic leader and oligarch Plahotniuc left the country.

RISE Moldova managed to identify some of the seized properties. These include the Nobil luxury hotel and the studios where TV stations operate: Prime, Publika, Canal 2 and Canal 3.

Thus, RISE Moldova managed to identify some of Finpar’s properties and seized at the request of the CNA officers. They have a total value of about 100,000 lei.

Hotel Nobil – a business that Plahotniuc publicly acknowledged as “one of the investments I am proud of.” It is located in the center of Chisinau, it has 5 stars, an area of ​​3,500 square meters and a cadastral value of 40,000,000 lei, with all the terrain.

Other Finpar goods that have come to the forefront of law enforcement are virtually located in the same courtyard with the Nobil Hotel. It’s about an apartment and a few commercial spaces, all with a surface of about 1000 square meters.

The General Media Group studios in Moldexpo, which host TV channels: Prime, Publika, Canal 2 and Canal 3, as well as radio stations: Publika FM and MuzFM.

The studios are spread over an area of ​​almost 8000 square meters and are worth about 30,000,000 lei. The land over one hectare is not owned by Finpar, but the company is being tried with the Public Property Agency for its privatization.

In a discussion with RISE reporter, Mihai Pocnea, the manager of Finpar Invest, denied this information and says he has not received any documents in this respect.

Finpar Invest SRL was founded in 1993 and was originally named the Center for the Prevention of Minor Offenses. Among the initial associations were Oxana Childescu and Vera Morozan – the former wife and Vladimir Plahotniuc’s sister, respectively.

Subsequently, Finpar was taken over by offshore companies but represented by a proxy of people in Plahotniuc’s entourage, including Andrian Candu, the former Speaker of Parliament.

The full RISE investigation can be read HERE.

We recall that some Democratic Party of Moldova leadership, all the vice-presidents and the secretary-general have resigned. The decision was taken at the meeting of the Democratic Party National Political Council on 29 June and was sent to a press conference by Pavel Filip.

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