Personal sanctions against Shor and Plahotniuc. The Moldovan Parliament will ask the international community.

One of our campaign promises was to obtain sanctions on corrupt politicians who have kept our democracy under siege, and instrumented outrageous acts of corruption. We promised that we would work hard to persuade the international community to impose personal sanctions against those who were destroying our democracy in order to protect their corrupt schemes. They fled the country, but our promises must be fulfilled.

The below declaration will today be registered in the Moldovan Parliament. The Parliament must ask the international community to impose personal sanctions on Ilan Shor, Vladimir Plahotniuc, and their associates, as well as to freeze their assets. We will encourage international institutions to start their own investigations, without waiting on our Prosecutor’s Office, which is still captured.

We are not doing it as “revenge”, but from a deep conviction that people deserve justice. Those who have committed crimes need to be held accountable. The money they stole from our people must be returned. Only by punishing those who robbed our country in the past, will we discourage others from robbing us in the future. If we do nothing, we are sending a message to the society that you can steal for ten years in a row from a country of three million people, then retire to peacefully live your life. Our message must be clear: we will not let them get away with it.

Below is the text of the Declaration submitted to the Parliament.

Call on the international community

About the need to impose personal sanctions on Ilan Shor and Vladimir Plahotniuc, members of the Parliament of the Republic of Moldova, and request for assistance in the tracing and recovery of illegally acquired assets.

The Parliament of the Republic of Moldova, as the supreme legislative body of the people and the only legislative authority of the country, according to art. 6 of the Constitution of the Republic of Moldova, confirmed in this position as a result of the parliamentary elections of February 24, 2019, calls on the international community to further support democracy in the Republic of Moldova in taking action against high-level corruption.

By adopting a Declaration recognizing that the Republic of Moldova is a captive state, the Parliament of the Republic of Moldova gave a clear assessment of the dangerous situation in which our country finds itself, infected with endemic corruption.

The swearing in of the new government of the Republic of Moldova and the subsequent overthrow of the oligarchic parties started the process of elimination of oligarchic influence from Moldovan state institutions. However, this process is neither easy nor will it take a short time to complete. At the same time, urgent actions are required for the success of investigations and the recovery of the money stolen through corrupt schemes from the people of the Republic of Moldova.

The resistance of the oligarchic elements inside the system is huge, and many state institutions haven’t shown the initiative to act decisively in order to protect democracy and the rule of law, to investigate corruption, to punish those responsible for corrupt acts and recover the fraudulent assets.

Meanwhile, those condemned and suspected of misappropriation of billions of dollars have managed to flee the country. One of them is Ilan Shor, a member of the Parliament of the Republic of Moldova. Shor is the main suspect in the theft of a billion US dollars, a fact confirmed by the Kroll-1 and Kroll-2 reports, which identified him as the central character in a massive theft and money laundering operation. Ilan Shor was sentenced to 7 years and 6 months in the billion theft case, on June 21, 2017. The theft of one billion US dollars, which is equivalent to 14% of the Gross Domestic Product, had devastating effects for the Moldovan economy. While the previous authorities have shown silent complicity, this fraud has been placed on the shoulders of citizens, who will have to repay it with their own taxes, for the next 25 years.

Meanwhile, those condemned and suspected of misappropriation of billions of dollars have managed to flee the country. One of them is Ilan Shor, a member of the Parliament of the Republic of Moldova. Shor is the main suspect in the theft of a billion US dollars, a fact confirmed by the Kroll-1 and Kroll-2 reports, which identified him as the central character in a massive theft and money laundering operation, Ilan Shor was sentenced to 7 years and 6 months in the billion theft case, on 21 June 2017 . The theft of one billion US dollars, which is equivalent to 14% of the Gross Domestic Product, had devastating effects for the Moldovan economy. While the previous authorities have shown silent complicity, this fraud has been placed on the shoulders of citizens, who will have to repay it with their own taxes, for the next 25 years.

We condemn the fact that the Anticorruption Prosecutor’s Office requested an arrest warrant and put Ilan Shor on a wanted list only after he fled the country. Once again, this fact illustrates the complicit inaction of the institutions of the Republic of Moldova in making real justice, and proves that some institutions are still under the influence of the former regime.

Until recently, Moldova was a clear example of how corruption can end up destroying a democracy to ruins. Having a single survival strategy – to remain in power forever, Vladimir Plahotniuc’s regime has committed numerous abuses, while the crimes of this regime are just beginning to be revealed to society.

Until recently, Moldova was a clear example of how corruption can end up destroying a democracy to ruins. Having a single survival strategy – to remain in power forever, Vladimir Plahotniuc’s regime has committed multiple abuses, while the crimes of this regime are just beginning to be revealed to society.

Vladimir Plahotniuc, member of the Parliament of the Republic of Moldova, is directly responsible for capturing the Moldovan state. Using blackmail, intimidation, and persecution to eliminate opponents, Plahotniuc promoted a non-transparent, undemocratic way of governing, where corruption and personal interests stood above the law and institutions. Politically controlled institutions (law enforcement, judiciary, regulators) were used for one purpose only – the advancement, protection, and preservation of the private interests of Plahotniuc. The institutions captured by Plahotniuc have been brutally used to facilitate multiple acts of corruption, including the theft of one billion US dollars, money laundering, smuggling, interfering in public procurement and much more. These crimes go beyond the borders of the Republic of Moldova, which is why the full involvement of the international community is crucial. It is our duty to punish the acts of corruption and abuses committed against the citizens of one of the poorest countries in Europe, and to return to them their stolen money.

Being aware that our citizens expect a real fight against corruption and the fact that the state institutions of the Republic of Moldova, especially the General Prosecutor’s Office, the judicial system, and the National Anticorruption Center have not yet proved to be independent and to act decisively, we, members of the Parliament of the Republic of Moldova, being fully aware of the importance of urgent actions, are making the present call to the international community.

Keeping in mind the objective to restore fair justice, as well as our commitment to the citizens of this country to recover the stolen assets and to punish those responsible, the Parliament of the Republic of Moldova:

  • Denounces the inaction of prosecutors and judges involved in investigating the Ilan Shor case and qualifies their actions as obstruction of justice;
  • Condemns the years-long inaction in investigating the crimes conducted by the Plahotniuc regime;
  • Encourages the Prosecutor General to request from the Parliament of the Republic Moldova to lift the parliamentary immunity of members of the Parliament Ilan Shor and Vladimir Plahotniuc;
  • Reminds that much of the misappropriated funds has been invested in a dirty and non-transparent electoral fight, as a result of which Ilan Shor, Vladimir Plahotniuc and their associates became members of the Parliament of the Republic of Moldova.

At the same time, recognizing that tracing and recovering the stolen assets will be impossible without the active contribution of the international community, the Parliament of the Republic of Moldova:

  • Calls on the State Parties to the United Nations Convention Against Corruption to grant the new government of the Republic of Moldova the greatest assistance and judicial cooperation in recovering stolen assets based on the principles of Chapter 5 of the Convention;
  • Calls on the specialized bodies of various jurisdictions indicated in the Kroll-1 and Kroll-2 reports (Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Great Britain, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, Austria, Czech Republic, The Netherlands, Finland, Croatia, Luxembourg, Portugal, Hong Kong, the United States of America, the Russian Federation, Israel, the United Arab Emirates, the People’s Republic of China and others), to initiate independent investigations into the businesses and assets of Ilan Shor, Vladimir Plahotniuc and their associates, in order to identify the legality of these assets;
  • Calls on the private financial institutions from different jurisdictions to cooperate with national authorities in order to quickly identify the hidden assets and interests of Ilan Shor, Vladimir Plahotniuc, and their associates;
  • Calls on the international community to impose personal sanctions on Ilan Shor and Vladimir Plahotniuc, based on the facts described above.

We have the great task to restore the trust of our citizens in the justice system, but in order for justice to thrive, we need the involvement of the international community, because the former regime still controls actors both in the judiciary and in other key institutions of the Republic of Moldova.

We call on the General Prosecutor’s Office and the Ministry of Justice to immediately request bilateral judicial assistance from the Member States to the United Nations Convention against Corruption in identifying the whereabouts of the convicted Ilan Shor and Vladimir Plahotniuc, as well as cooperation in recovering the illegally acquired property.

We also call on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and European Integration to take the necessary action on requesting partner states to apply personal sanctions against convicted Ilan Shor, Vladimir Plahotniuc and his accomplices, including travel restrictions and asset freezing.

We commit to making every effort in order to reform the judicial system, to show our citizens a genuine fight against corruption, to build independent institutions and to implement legislation accordingly. However, the immediate contribution of our international partners is crucial at this decisive moment[s] for the future of our country.


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