The Authorities Closed an Illegal Factory that Produced Helicopters

The Authorities Closed an Illegal Factory that Produced Helicopters
05 July 2020 | 06:26

The investigations on the case regarding the clandestine assembly of helicopters, in Criuleni district, close to the breakaway Transnistria region, are in full swing.

The specialized Prosecutor’s Office offers details about the investigation. At the same time, the authorities mentioned that the manager of the illegal business, a 64-year-old man, who is a former employee of a state institution with a special activity regime, is not on the territory controlled by the authorities in Moldova. 

According to the prosecutors, if sufficient evidence will be accumulated against the illegal business manager, he will be charged according to the law.  

The aeronautical expert who participated in the search confirmed that the helicopters were similar to Soviet-type Kamov 26-KA. 

On June 30, the prosecutors and the police closed an illegal factory that was producing Soviet-type Kamov KA 26 helicopters, produced in clandestine conditions, which had to be exported illegally to the Commonwealth of Independent States countries.

The Prosecutor’s Office for Combating Organized Crime and Special Cases (PCCOCS) jointly with the National Investigation Inspectorate of the Ministry of Internal Affairs announced that for several months, they were investigating the illegal activity of a well-organized group of people, specialized in the production of helicopters.

The prosecutors claimed that aeronautical experts investigated the helicopters in the illegal factory. The experts established that the load-bearing systems detected (reducer that ensures the take-off and landing of the aircraft) have a high degree of similarity with the authentic ones. 

They also pointed to the increased danger of operating aeronautical equipment, due to the fact that the accessories used for assembly were unsuitable for technical requirements in the field of aeronautics, which could endanger the lives of users of this equipment.

However, according to one of the detainees, working at the illegal factory since it was opened, some helicopters had already been tested, for short periods of time, at takeoff. However, this took place with enormous risks to the lives and security of the personnel involved.

Most of the people involved in the production and assembly process, including the managers and the founders of the illegal business are residents of the breakaway Transnistria region.

According to the authorities, the leader of the illegal business, a 64-year-old man, and former employee of a state institution with a special activity regime is not on the territory controlled by the Moldovan authorities. 

The prosecutors suspended the activity of the illegal factory, detaining several people. However, most of the people detained either did not give statements or made evasive statements. Subsequently, the prosecutors carried out several criminal proceedings, including additional hearings. 

At the same time, the prosecutors are also investigating other criminal cases related to smuggling actions. These cases point out that previously several parts and mechanisms used in this technical aeronautical field were imported to Moldova. 

The PCCOCS informed that five persons detained for the clandestine assembly of helicopters produced in Criuleni were assigned witness status.

After hearing and establishing the circumstances in relation to two other detained persons, the prosecutors ordered that they also are removed from criminal prosecution.

“At this stage, the criminal investigation focuses on the criminal actions of three other people, and according to the evidence, a series of expertises will be ordered – technical-aeronautical, merchandising, computer science, and all documents will be analyzed (sketches, plans, and other documents) – in order to investigate the actions and not the persons (at the moment, no person is in detention),” mentions PCCOCS.

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