Seventeen people have been detained in Moldova and Ukraine on suspicion they were planning to kill one of Moldova’s most powerful politicians, prosecutors there said Saturday.
Senior organized crime prosecutor Vitalie Busuioc said authorities knew of orders from two unnamed people to assassinate Vladimir Plahotniuc, an influential businessman and chairman of the Democratic Party, the biggest party in Moldova’s pro-European governing coalition.
Police said the suspects had received $100,000 and were due to receive a total of $200,000.
Authorities detained eight people in Moldova and nine in Ukraine and seized an unspecified number of grenade launchers, two pistols, phones, wigs and moustaches.
In a statement, the Democratic Party said it “firmly condemned this criminal act.”
Ukraine’s Interior Minister Arseni Avakov on Friday said authorities had intercepted an assassination attempt against Plahotniuc.