9 detained after searches carried out in 20 city halls: State chiseled by arranged auctions

Anti-Corruption officers have begun searches in 20 City Halls from around the country, including Chisinau City Hall. The 28 searches were performed as part of an investigation of auction frauds and sewage repair works.

It resulted into 9 arrest. Among them counted Mayor of Ghelăuza town, Străşeni, Management Director of Ecological Fund, and some economic agents.

At the same time, documents were issued regarding the public procurement organized by local authorities for carrying out various sewage works and aqueducts - projects funded by the State Environmental Fund.

Criminal follow-up actions took place regarding passive, active corruption suspected. 

The detainees are suspected of acting according to a criminal plan, aiming at obtaining financial assistance from the Ecological Fund for the implementation of local projects.

Thus, prosecutors documented a number of public auctions for the construction of sewerage systems and sewage treatment plants in several localities, those auction were won by companies managed by a person. 

This person could manage the entire criminal scheme consisted of negotiating with the decision makers of the National Environmental Fund of the Ministry of Environment on approving the project budget assigned to the City Halls.

Once the localities were identified, that person went to the local officials and proposed 5 percent of the contract value to be signed. Subsequently, the members of the working group in the city halls arranged the auction winning by that person, disqualifying other applicants.

After contract signature, that person submitted to the Ecological Fund false documents regarding the work execution in order to obtain the indicated payments.

In fact, the works mentioned were not operated, however, the Ecological Fund transferred money to company accounts which led to embezzle the state budget in large proportions, tens of millions lei. 

 Prosecutors are to analyze all auctions, of which there are some suspicions.

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