“Actors” of the flagrant

“Actors” of the flagrant
29 May 2014 | 14:56

472-flagrant11Ordinary people, seemingly unconnected with the National Anti-Corruption (NAC) and other law enforcement agencies, appear as initiators of several criminal investigations. They, after notifying the state institutions that were asked for bribes, participate, along with law enforcement, to detention operations in flagrant of officials. Who are these people? Citizens with a strong civic spirit, fed up to live in a corrupt society, or undercover agents, paid, with well defined roles and purposes, to incite the commission of crimes, for government institutions, to combat corruption, to prove to everyone that, Moldova, is fighting this scourge?

Officially, NAC announced that, since August 2014, the integrity of officials from Moldovan will be tested by undercover agents. Unofficially, dubious persons, kind of agents, are working for years with the competent authorities. Officials and ordinary employees are caught red-handed after being challenged by them to take bribes.

Retained, for selling information

At the end of March 2014, was arrested in the act, a man from Straseni, who extorted 300 euros from a trader, presenting himself as an employee of NAC. NAC deny that the individual has ever been an employee of the institution. After he was arrested, on his name has been lodged another complaint. A lawyer from Straseni, Irina Croitor, filed a complaint to prosecution, saying that, in January 2014, he sought and even received from her 4000 lei, saying he is an employee of NAC. In exchange for money, the man promised information regarding her, from a file at NAC. “He offered to meet near University of Medicine ( NAC around, no), that it’s my problem and it’s in my interests. I came. He told me that I had to be retained on that day“, told us, previously, the lawyer. About this case, ZdG wrote in the edition from  8th of May 2014.

Person detained and accused of these crimes is Vyacheslav Galoi, who came to the attention of ZdG since 2008. Though NAC asserts that man has never been an employee of the institution, his relationship to the deceased Centre for Combating Economic Crimes and Corruption (CCECC) is more than obvious. In that period, especially, he has initiated several flagrant, in which divers persons were detained with bribes, including mayors inconvenient to PC’s, back then at ruling.

Target of flagrant: non-Communist mayors

Nicholas Panzaru, former mayor in v. Bumbata, Ungheni, came to regret a meeting he had in February 2007, with Vyacheslav Galoi. Finally, he was sentenced to a fine of 10 thousand lei, deprived of the right to hold public office for a year, after being detained in flagrant by CCECC, with 1200 lei money received from Vyacheslav Galoi. Former mayor, although convicted, is even now certain that was the target of a challenge staged by Galoi together with law enforcement. “He came to me with a request to open a race, Bumbata – Ungheni. That was just a pretext. After I signed the act, he took it, stretched 1200 lei and said loudly : ” Mr. Mayor, look, here, 1200 lei”. Then he said ” Good bye ” and left in less than no time. Immediately, came in the officers … I know they followed me a lot. I was one of the few non-communist mayors from the district“, recalls Panzaru. “I knew it was a trap and I wanted to talk to this Galoi before the trial. I went to his home. There, he admitted everything. He asked me some money and told me that the file will be closed immediately, if I pay”. At the hearings, Galoi was refusing to appear, being brought at a time, by force.

In that period, Vadim Dadu, former mayor of Petresti, also non-communist, says that he was allegedly the target of a challenge, also with Vyacheslav Galoi in the foreground. Galoi came to him, immediately after the elections from 2007, with a request to take in lease a land, to dig a pond there. “He tried to provoke me, telling me that I will also gain from it. I said that everything should be done by auction. He was to return in few days. Meanwhile, someone warned me and told me that I would be the target of a bribery challenge. After that, Galoi never approached me”, says Dadu. Also during that period, the name of Vyacheslav Galoi appears in a case involving officials from the Ungheni Registry Office. ZdG reported, in 2008, about that file, which, eventually, proved to be planed with the participation and involvement of Galoi. Then, a young woman, Dorina Carapcevschi, engaged at OSC Ungheni, retained in the act and subsequently declared innocent, had a miscarriage from the shock that she had.

“He was preparing something for me as well, a flagrant”

Flagrants are, apparently, the house specialty for Vyacheslav Galoi. Originally from Sipoteni, Calarasi, officially, he is unemployed, and the villagers do not have good words for him. “He is a danger to society”, says a local. Mayor of the village Vasile Rata, supports the suspicions that are hanging over him, noting that Galoi wanted to frame him also a flagrant. “I can not find words to describe him. He is perceived in society as a negative person. Not working anywhere. Always has been involved in non senses. He is provoking people. I think he had relationships with law enforcement. On New Year’s Eve, someone told me to be careful, that he was preparing me something, a flagrant. I said that I can’t wait for it. But it happened as in that saying: “Do not dig a pit to others, as you might fall into it”. I know many people in positions of responsibility whom he tried to give bribes”, says the official. Talking with ZdG, many of them have confirmed the information.

Now, Vyacheslav Galoi is in custody. Ion Tescu, prosecutor at the Prosecutor Straseni, dealing with his case, could not give us many details about Galoi’s past. “I can not deny or confirm certain circumstances… I can only confirm that he is not employed at NAC”. The prosecutor even stated that NAC would have notified prosecutor Straseni that Galoi acts as if on behalf of the institution. ZdG tried several times to contact Liliana Panus, Galoi’s lawyer, who neither answered the cell phone nor the land line for several days in a row.

Bushovschi, the initiator of sentencing of the first judge

Name Roman Bushovschi came to public attention at the end of 2013, he was the one who filed the complaint to the NAC, claiming that Gheorghe Popa, judge from Telenesti, sentenced in April to 7 years imprisonment, asked him 200 USD. In court, Popa and his lawyer, Vasile Nicoara, argued that in the middle has been a challenge set up by law enforcement. In support to their claims, they presented papers from several cases in which Bushovschi is the person making claims, including at NAC, so that customs officers, border guards or employees of the Cadastre to be caught in the act. ZdG talked to several people involved in those cases, and their testimonies, including some people who knew Bushovschi very well, reveal things which are more than suspicious.

In January 2011, Roman Bushovschi filed a complaint at Falesti Prosecution requesting criminal liability of collaborator from Falesti cadastral office, Vitaly Spanu, because he would have extorted from him 100 USD for the registration of ownership on the house of his grandparents, from Sarata Noua, Falesti. Immediately, was opened a criminal case. On the same day, the official was caught red-handed. He pleaded guilty, and in May 2011, the court, based on a plea bargain agreement, has set as punishment a fine of 1000 lei.

“He let down the boy”

Eugenia Sandu, the woman in whose name Bushovschi filed a complaint, died in 2012. But we managed to find her relatives, who know the details of that story. The woman we spoke to asked us (after we discussed already) not to disclose her name, the concerned not to lest to revenge. She told us that Roman Busovschi was married, until that year, to a niece of the Eugenia Sandu, with whom he has a child, whom he denied after divorce. People who ate at the same table and shared a house with Busovschi told us they did not know where he worked while he was part of their family. “He did not tell his wife where he works. I know that a whole year he went to Chisinau in the morning and came back in the evening. When we tried to find out where he works, he got upset. Only he knows what he was doing. He was very secret”, says the woman.

With reference to the act, representatives of Sandu family state that the official from the Cadastre was a victim of Busovschi. “There were lies on the part of Roman. That man did not ask anything. He came to our house, after we took him with the car from Cadastre. We’ve asked when the papers will be ready. He told me how long it will take. I asked if he needed some finance. He said he did not need anything. Then, Busovschi went with him to Cadastre, and on the way, I think they talked about it. Roman asked if he could to make documents faster. So it all started”, recalls our source. “Roman came home and asked 2000 lei, to give him, allegedly, to make documents faster. I said we do not give, we do not hurry anywhere. And he carried on by himself. I know he was caught, but that boy is innocent. Busovschi made that man act this way, he let down the boy”, is sure the woman, who said that she never wants to hear of Roman Busovschi. “Thanks God we got rid”, she concludes.

“He challenged me completely”

In just two months from the flagrant with employee from Cadastre, in March 2011, Roman Busovschi filed a complaint on behalf of Alexei Sorbalo, inspector at Ocnita Customs Bureau (later Briceni ), accusing him that, activating at the crossing point Otaci – Moghiliov – Podolsk, in late 2010 offered him, several times, sums of money, to facilitate the introduction of goods from Ukraine into Moldova. All actions were filmed by Busovschi, even before he filed the complain and, respectively, opened the criminal case. “He challenged me completely. He came to me without knowing who I am. Already equipped, with the right to record and shoot another collaborator”, says Alexei Sorbalo. “They fight corruption, but they are nowhere near it”, he thinks. Recently, he and a colleague were sentenced to five years in suspended prison, after the file was returned, by the Supreme Court, to the Court of Appeals, which earlier acquitted them. Now, the Supreme Court will rule again. “If I lose at SCJ, I will go to Strasbourg. They mocked me”, revolts Sorbalo.

Since March 2013, Busovschi worked to retain other customs officers. This time, with NAC. The survey results were announced with great fanfare by the institution through a press release, issued on September 28th, 2013. “Five people, including a policeman, two Customs employees and two former publicans, were held by NAC jointly with prosecutors and internal security of Customs. Suspects appear in a case of passive corruption and are believed to be involved in extortion of money to facilitate passage of cars through customs post Larga, Briceni”, is said in the statement.

ECHR condemns challenge

Victor Sandu was, in 2006, director of the State Veterinary Clinic. He was detained in flagrant with 400 lei, after accepting money from a young man who asked his dog vaccination and issue of a travel document for the animal. Subsequently, Sandu was convicted. But the man turned to the ECHR, noting that in the middle was a challenge and a setup. In February 2014, the Court ruled in his favor, establishing that the person who filed the complaint previously collaborated with law enforcement in two other similar situations and that national courts “have not examined whether C. ‘s action had the effect of causing offense”, says ECHR.

Although, apparently, the judgment should put in guard state institutions, lawyer Vitaly Nagacevschi, chairman of ” Lawyers for Human Rights”, thinks that, “at the moment, there are no circumstances that might make them more careful, although Court’s judgment should, normally, influence their behavior”. “I am almost sure that there is also now a team of professional provocateurs, dealing with challenges. This way, the authorities are trying to make life easier. But that’s not right, because you should not provoke the man to do the crime”, notes attorney.

6 months collaboration with NAC

This case was initiated following a complaint lodged by the citizen Busovschi Roman, on 27 March 2013. He complained that public figures, including some “Oleg Stefanschi and his colleague with the last name “Vasile” had created a scheme for systematic extortion of funds they are not entitled …, for the transport units that are subject to the passage of goods from Ukraine not to necessarily be controlled”. Busovschi complained that they were extorting from him this way 1200 USD. Later, he worked with NAC officers to detain all persons involved. Busovschi was endowed with special equipment, as well as his car, a Ford Transit. The measures were approved by judge Mihail Diaconu, in July 2013. Means that, until September, when the operation was over, Busovschi worked with officers from the Centre for not less than six consecutive months.

We tried to talk with the people involved in this case, but most have refused to give any comments. Approached by press, when they were brought to the headquarters of NAC, they pleaded not guilty. Roman Statnii, anticorruption prosecutor leading prosecution on this case, told us that in January, the case was sent to trial. The prosecutor claims that he does not know what would be the relationship between NAC and Roman Busovschi. “What does it mean what kind of relationship? Do you understand what are you asking me? What would the answer sound like? I can not tell you something like that. I know he is a witness in this case”, told us Statnii. Note that, recently, Busovschi was sentenced to nine years in prison by Falesti Prosecutor, accused of scam. He also has another pending case, in which he is accused of torture.

“This people are more distinguished in character than others”

Who are yet, the persons whose names appear in multiple folders of flagrant? Cristina Tarna, NAC deputy, argues that the persons concerned in the article are not employed at NAC. However, she stated that they are nothing more than some people with a strong civic spirit. They are not paid for taking part along with officers in detention operations in flagrant.

Eduard Harunjen, head of the Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office (PA), says that these are people who do not want to tolerate corruption. “We have discussed these issues even inside. These are people who do not want to tolerate corruption. They are not agents, as they can not be now. Undercover agents may be just officers. Civilians can not be agents, just informers. But the informant could be anyone. Here, when people terminate each other, it’s abnormal. In other countries, something like that is normal. The fact is that these people are not paid. They simply declare. They no longer want to tolerate. This people are more distinguished in character than others. It’s weird, I understand, but … “, says the prosecutor. “Busovschi, probably, had a business related to systematic crossing of the border. Then, he collaborated and agreed, without the expense of his work, to film. People, lately, are different. Increasingly more address to us with complaints. Perhaps there were some results. We call them professional petitioners. We can only thank them, encourage them and draw as many”, said PA chief.

“I call them “briber on duty “

A former head of the Corruption argues that these people are not formally employed nor paid officially by the collaborating institutions. Most times, he says, they are in close contact with investigators or informants of those institutions. How do they make money? A former prosecutor claims that provocateurs could earn money by extorting them from victims they have held or will hold in the act. “The money are divided between him, officer and prosecutor. So, it doesn’t lead to the act, or the file do not reach the court, or, if it does, it has several gaps that lead to acquit that person”. “Provoker can also sell information obtained from the collaborating, and shares the money with someone in organs”, says a former employee of CCCEC .

“They are a kind of agents. I call them “briber on duty” ( man on duty who gives a bribe , no). They were before, they also exist now. When he needed a certificate, until noon he went to a doctor in Center, following a meal, to one from Botanica, and was challenging them. But, it is not right. If the agent would not come to you, then the crime would not be committed. So, it’s clear challenge. If a neighbor complains that another neighbor threatened to behead him, then what, we give him the ax, to try this? Even granting money from special funds, for acts, is not legal. The law do not provide such thing”, says an employee of the structures of law, whom the position does not allow to criticize openly the addressed issue. “All this are done to create the desired image, but is it not clear that we lie to ourselves?”, he says. “I talked to someone, who told me that there are, at least at MIA, some people who present themselves as secret agents. They are paid, they have cases at MIA, but there name is not indicated, just a code. Their identity is known to a very limited number of people. Not even the minister knows”, says lawyer Vitaly Nagacevschi.

P. S. In researching this article, I found many cases where the same person is listed as a victim in two or three criminal cases. As I did not have access to official documents, it is possible that, in reality, there are people who have worked with law enforcement in several cases, having one or more identities.

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