30 ianuarie 2004

Fulger&Papuc

During the first days of his mandate, President Voronin stated, in a meeting with the leaders of the Trade Union “Solidarity” that he would appoint corrupt individuals in leading positions to fight against corruption

We have seen whom he has appointed in leading positions in ministries and structures empowered to fight against corruption and protectionism, we have also seen how they cope with their work. For three years it has been concluded that we have corruption at all levels but we cannot find the corrupt ones. The reporters have tried in vain to reveal corruption actions of many state officers, because the head of the state remains unshakable. Maybe before the mandate of the current governance expires will we find the answers to the corruption related questions. We will continue our investigations on the officers of the current governance

One of them is the Minister of Internal Affairs Gheorghe Papuc. The Chişinău press has written about Papuc’s involvement in various doubtful affairs since he was working in Russia. Also, the press has accused him of holding a false higher education diploma. All these accusations have been infirmed by the Minister, but none of the empowered institutions have checked the truthfulness of the accusations.

Hundreds of thousands of Lei into the pocket

In April 2000, the Department of Financial Control and Revision of the Ministry of Internal Affairs initiated a control over the financial-economic activity of the Special Destination Brigade „Fulger” (Lightening), whose commander was Gheorghe Papuc. The control established that due to the actions of the Head of the Brigade, Gheorghe Papuc, of the chief-accountant Mihai Rusu, accountant-cashier Aliona Dolghieru and of the accountant, Papuc’s right hand, the state had been prejudiced of MDL 359,370.

Thus, in May-December 1997, by increasing the balance on the payroll for the brigade personnel, the amount of MDL 42,170 was accounted without reason as a cash outlay, which was appropriated by the institution’s decision-making factors. According to the control’s results, responsible for the misappropriation of the respective amount were the brigade commander Gheorghe Papuc, the chief accountant Mihai Rusu and the accountant-cashier Aliona Dolghieru. Also, in the period 1995-1997 money advances were made from the brigade’s cash safe for the purchase of spare parts, carburetors and food for the personnel. It is not known how that money was expensed because the accounting documents do not contain anything that would support the purchase of the mentioned items. However, the respective amounts were shortly after accounted as expenses. Thus, the following amounts were accounted as unjustified expenses, in 1995 – MDL 93,185, in 1996 – MDL 30,043, in 1997 – MDL 37,277.

„Dead” personnel

The control also found that, during 1995-1997, individuals that were not included in the brigade’s payroll were collecting their salaries on a regular basis. Thus, 10 individuals missing from the payroll have collected MDL 137,400. A part of the accounting records for the period 1995-1997 are missing, which makes it impossible to check some expense compartments. Nobody, however, has been held accountable for the disappearance of a part of the accounting documents. After the trick with the “dead” personnel worked, Papuc’s gang continued its “profitable business” by milking significant amounts of money from the state. In February 1998 – December 1999, they assigned additions to salaries, thus collecting two retributions every month on two different lists. Thus, in that period, the chief-accountant additionally collects an amount of MDL 18,735, Igor Bălănuţă – MDL 29,976 and Daria Soltan – MDL 37,470 lei. In total, the amount of MDL 86,181 was transferred to make those payments. But the respective group of officers was not satisfied only with the collection of double salaries.

Theft from the soldiers’ ration

Funds have also been misappropriated from those allocated for the purchase of food products for „Fulger”. Upon their purchase in cash in the period 1 January 1997 – 1 January 2000, contrary to the tax legislation provisions, the income tax in the amount of MDL 44,017 was not calculated and paid to the budget. The chief-accountant Mihai Rusu did not pay taxes amounting to MDL 31,853, Igor Bălănuţă – MDL 7,676 Daria Soltan – MDL 4,486. The control also found that Ms. V. Calancea, responsible for the payment of salaries in the brigade, received a double salary in 1997.

Evaporated criminal case

A criminal lawsuit was initiated on this case in 2000, as evidence serving the control’s results. The case files were, however, handed from one division over to another until they were crossed over. None of the responsible persons that prejudiced the state of MDL 360,000 have been punished. Moreover, Papuc was promoted and the head of the state assigned him in November 2002 the rank of General Police Major. Eugen Viţu, head of the PR Department of MIA stated then in a press conference that the promotion “was due to the results registered by the police in their anticorruption fight”.

If before Papuc’s appointment in the position of Minister his case was seen in several divisions of the General Prosecutor’s Office, nothing was heard about it thereafter. We will be back

Authors: Cornelia Cozonac, Iacob Guja