Authorities Detain Four Individuals in Joint Moldova-France Corruption Probe

Authorities detained four individuals following searches conducted by a joint investigation between Moldova and France. This inquiry examines an alleged corruption scheme involving public officials from Moldova and other countries suspected of accepting bribes to interfere with the publication of INTERPOL Red Notices for internationally wanted offenders. Veronica Dragalin, head of the Anticorruption Prosecutor’s Office (PA), provided details at a news briefing.

According to Dragalin, the PA initiated a criminal case on April 2 this year based on information from France’s National Financial Prosecutor’s Office (PNF). Investigators allege that a group of people of various nationalities orchestrated a corruption scheme to allow individuals targeted by INTERPOL Red Notices to obtain asylum or refugee status in Moldova and other countries. This scheme purportedly aimed to block and delete their Red Notices by bribing civil servants, including those in Moldova.

“This involves an international crime ring connected to individuals in Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, and other countries. They are suspected of committing cyber offenses, causing millions of dollars in damages, and paying bribes to intermediaries and public officials in Moldova to inform offenders about the status of their Red Notices in exchange for payments. It must be the millions of US dollars,” Dragalin stated.

As part of the investigation, PA prosecutors and officers, with assistance from French and FBI counterparts, executed 33 searches at 12 locations today, authorized by a Moldovan investigating judge. Specialists processed the digital devices seized during the raids.

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“Following the searches, we confiscated digital devices, including mobile phones, laptops, computers, and other objects and documents. We will examine it. The searches took place this morning with full support from the relevant public institutions. Currently, the investigation is ongoing. So far, we have detained four individuals for 72 hours,” Dragalin emphasized.

Dragalin noted that further investigative actions would uncover all details of the case. “We are determined to combat high-level corruption, especially schemes that jeopardize criminal cases worldwide. This joint investigation underscores the importance of international cooperation between law enforcement agencies in identifying and apprehending corrupt offenders who operate beyond national borders. Together, we will continue to root out corruption from public institutions,” Dragalin added.

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