Officially, the increase in electricity tariffs will affect the four directors of the National Energy Regulatory Agency (ANRE) that approved the new tariffs. This is because at least two of them live in luxury apartments with a surface of over 100 sqm and their maintenance will increase considerably. On the other hand, the salaries of the four directors estimated at over 50 thousand lei per month and the businesses they manage will probably help them to cope easier with these increases.
The National Energy Regulatory Agency (ANRE), an institution implementing the state policy on the regulation of energy sectors, decided Friday, November 6 that there are no grounds for reviewing the decisions from July related to the approval of new tariffs for distribution and supply of electricity and the tariff for electricity transmission service. The decision to increase tariffs entered officially into force on November 9 2015. Consumers of Gas Natural Fenosa, who paid 1 leu and 58 bani per kw / hour will pay almost double, 2, 16 lei. For Friday, November 13, ANRE announced a new meeting and they will decide on the decision to increase the price to natural gas, taken in July. Most likely, the result will be the same – tariffs will increase. Decisions are taken by the ANRE Council, consisting of four directors, one of which – general director with activities in different fields.
General Director, with house under construction
Sergiu Ciobanu has been general director of ANRE as of July 2013. He was dismissed for three months in September based on the Constitutional Court's decision to reinstate Victor Parlicov, former general director dismissed from Parliament. He was reinstated in January 2014. Before that, he was Deputy Minister of Economy, when the institution was led by Valeriu Lazar. Also, he was a member of Managing Councils of three state enterprises: "Marculesti Airport", "Moldexpo" and "The State Registration Chamber".
Not a single statement on income and property, submitted by Sergiu Ciobanu since he is an official, has revealed any dwelling, but the salary from these institutions and, more recently, a Skoda, made in 2008 and purchased in 2009. General Director of ANRE is engaged to a singer, with stage name Roxana. Her real name is Oxana Gotinjan. They had previously lived in an apartment on the street. Sadoveanu in Chisinau, registered on the name of a child from a previous relationship of Oxana.
In 2013, in an interview for a fashionable site, thewoman.md Oxana Gotinjan (Roxana) declared that she owns a BMW, 5 Sery, black, bought in 2007 from abroad, on common money. "I do not like small cars, I adore the large ones because they are comfortable", she said. "I just drove BMWs, we had older models of different colors: grey, white gold", she said. In the same interview, she said that her husband drove a Skoda Superb. His car is not included in any statement of the official. Also, the apartment where both of them lived and the company "Oxigot" SRL, founded and managed by Oxana Gotinjan in November 2005, are not part of the statement on income and property. He has declared activities in trade, a social capital of 5,400 lei and is registered in the apartment inhabited by Sergiu and Oxana on str. Sadoveanu. It was not possible to check whether the company has or has not been indicated in the statement of income and property of Sergiu Ciobanu in 2014 because it is missing on the ANRE website, but also on the website of the Committee on National Integrity Council (CNI ). According to sources, Sergiu Ciobanu is involved in other businesses through intermediaries.
Sergiu Ciobanu argues that he submitted the 2014 declaration on property and he does not know why this is not public yet. He said that he was transparent and has an annual income of 700,000 lei from the agency and last year took a credit and now he is building a house. "I bought a plot of land and I took money from the bank. A house is being built. We are living in my parents’ flat until the house is built. We do not live in the flat from str. Sadoveanu. The house is not ready yet. External works are performed. I think it will be ready in a year. The house is located in Stauceni", he said. As about the unreported company of his life partner, he said: "this company has never activated. Also, I could not declare it because we are not officially married", he said.
Luxury house of Octavian Lungu
Octavian Lungu is director and member of the Management Board of ANRE as of January 2014. Before that, in June 2013, he was advisor of the Minister of Transport and Road Infrastructure and chairman of the Administration Councils of "Air Moldova", "MoldATSA" and "Airport Handling". Previously, he held leading positions in companies in the field of finance, including Victoria Insurance. During this period, before he was elected member of ANRE, Lungu has built a luxury individual house in town Codru at the outskirts of Chisinau. The house is officially registered in documents in the small town Codru because it is near the Oncology Institute, on str. Testemitanu. The building, with a market value of over 5 million lei, is declared by Octavian Lungu but in his statement on income and property for 2013 he claims to have built it between 2001 to 2012, and then it was officially put in operation. It is registered on his and his wife’s name, Stela, physician-internist at Hospital St. Arhanghel Mihail. Couple Lungu owns two plots of land for construction, two cars "Mazda" and over 800 thousand lei in bank accounts.
Octavian Lungu is founder of two SRLs, "Danisan Consult" and "Universal Motors". The first company was founded in 2008 and provides business consulting services. It is registered on str. Romana, in a building that previously belonged to Victoria Insurance Company, where Lungu worked and then to "Finpar Invest" SRL, affiliated to Vladimir Plahotniuc. In 2012, he sold the building to another trader. In 2013, Octavian Lungu co-founded another company "Universal Motors" specialized in trade with vehicles. ANRE Director owns 45% in this company. His business partners are Dorin Procopciuc (5%), Boris Verlan (5%) and Alexei Rogov (45%). The company is registered in a private house in Durlesti.
“Forgotten” revenues from Plahotniuc’s company
In April 2015, Octavian Lungu was the target of a control on behalf of the National Integrity Commission (CNI), following a request of the National Anti-Corruption Centre (CNA). CNI conducted a counterbalance to the information indicated in the statement of Octavian Lungu and information in the databases of state and established that the Director of ANRE owns the property located in Chisinau, str. Florica Nita, which has not been included in his statement on income and property. On 5 February 2015, the CNI has ordered the initiation of a control at Octavian Lungu. The institution found out that in 2013, Lungu had revenues amounted at 2.7 thousand lei from SRL "Prime Management", founded and managed by Vladimir Plahotniuc, which he did not declare in his statement. In the explanations made at CNI, Lungu said that "this omission was unintentional and the amount results from a contract for services signed with SRL" Prime Management ".Also, this amount was included in the income statement for 2013 submitted to the Tax Inspectorate ". The current director of ANRE has not declared the share in an apartment of 109.6 square meters, which he got in 1995. Lungu said that the apartment was privatized in 1995 by his parents, based on privatization vouchers and he did not know that he was included as a co-owner of this flat when it was registered. It is worth mentioning that Octavian Lungu’s father, Gheorghe Lungu is former Minister of Agriculture in the Government Ciubuc (1997-1998).
CNI also found that Lungu did not include in his statement the 10 bank accounts with a turnover of over 50 thousand lei. He explained that he declared the salary and deposit accounts but failed to declare the accounts used to make some intermediary payments which he did not know. He claimed that in the statement for 2014 he showed empty or negative balance accounts. Consequently, CNI decided to close the case "because it was found that there are no circumstances showing deliberate violation of the legal regime in the statement of income and property of inaccurate or incomplete data. Also, there was not established an obvious difference between incomes gained in 2013 and the acquired property in the same period of time", runs the document of CNI. Octavian Lungu did not answer the phone.
Explanations from CNI: "unknowingly"
Ghenadie Partu, another director of ANRE, got CNI’s attention. Like his colleague who got away, he completed the declaration on income and property with many omissions. Partu was under control as a result of a complaint of CNA on 23 January 2015. The institution found that he owns a trailer, a truck and a tractor, an accessory building to his house, an apartment, a plot of land. His wife owns shares in a company, goods which he has not declared in the statement of income and property. Also, he has not declared the revenues which he got in 2013 from other sources except from ANRE, 4 bank accounts and shares in a SRL and an Individual Enterprise.
In explanations submitted to CNI, he admitted that he was wrong. He said that he did not show the companies "unknowingly and not having the intention to hide them as he was appointed for the first time official and had not previous experience to submit such a declaration. The omissions were not done on purpose. Also, the individual enterprise is inactive, since it was founded as it was not re-registered appropriately and did not get a new fiscal code, this means that this was not done on purpose ". He claimed that "omissions admitted by non-declaring the bank accounts used to get money from the institutions where he worked and said that this was not done on purpose but he thought that once he declared the salaries at the chapter of incomes, he did not know that it was necessary to declare the accounts on card, a part of them expired and will close them under current law to prevent such mistakes in future ". As for three units of transport, Partu said he has not declared them because "the technique is worn out and no longer operational, parts of which were disassembled and delivered to scrap metal. He did not know that these must be expunged from the car register, procedures which he started already". Similarly, out of ignorance, Partu said that he did not indicate an apartment in Rezina, an accessory building to his house and a plot of land and incomes from other activities.
52 thousand lei monthly salary
"The results of the inspection on checking the observation of the legal regime of declaration of income and property by Mr. Ghenadie Partu, director of the Management Board of ANRE, the explanations of the person under control and the omissions admitted in the content of the declaration submitted, are not essential. in the opinion of the Commission, there is no obvious difference between revenues obtained during 2013 and the property gained in the same period and there is no infringement on purpose of the legal status of the declaration of income and property for 2013 by Mr. Ghenadie Partu", reports the document of CNI.
According to the statement of income and property in 2014, which I found at CNI, unlike those of his colleagues Lungu and Ciobanu, in 2014, Ghenadie Partu as director of ANRE got a salary of 628 thousand lei, the equivalent of 52 000 lei per month. His wife employed at Moldtelecom received 150 thousand lei. Family Partu got a sum of 74 000 lei from dividends in a SRL owned by his wife which was not declared a year earlier.
Ghenadie Partu has been director of ANRE as of July 2013. He has been living in Chisinau since 2012 when he was appointed head of the Operative Center of Moldtelecom. In 1999-2012, he was technical director at Rezina branch of Moldtelecom. In Rezina, Partu has lived for a while. He owns a house, a plot and an auxiliary construction. In 2012, when he came to Chisinau he almost immediately bought an apartment with a surface of 90 sq.m. on str. Ion Creanga. "It's information note. I do not want to repeat .... Being the first time in public office, I did not know. CNI performed searches over my case. The apartment was bought from the declared incomes", said Partu.
House, new car and debts amounted at 2 million
Director with the shortest CV of all four heads at ANRE, Iurie Onica owns a huge property. He was elected for this office in July 2013 and was promoted, according to information from within the institution by the ex-deputy Simion Furdui, who is probably one of his relative. Onica is 38 and before she became director of ANRE she was head of his own company "Onica Trade" SRL. In 2001-2007, at the age of 24, he has studied at the Faculty of Economics and Management of the Agrarian University of Moldova. When he was appointed for this office, including in the Parliament, they said that he did not have any educational degree or experience to serve as director of ANRE.
Everything was settled, and Onica progressed from 2013 until present. According to the information from his statement on income and property for 2014, last year he moved into a new house with a surface of about 200 square meters, with a cadastral value of nearly one million lei. Until then, Onica and his wife lived in a luxury block, with only a few apartments on str. Vasile Nauc, where his family owns a house with a surface of 100 sqm. Also, in 2014 Onica got a salary of 624 thousands lei from ANRE, 52 000 per month, he sold 2 plots of land for construction at the price of 200 thousands lei and contracted three loans totaling 1.3 million lei. In 2013, when he was elected director of ANRE, he bought a Land Rover Discovery, against 350 thousand lei, under a loan agreement. In July 2013, in the month when he was elected director of ANRE, he took a loan amounted at USD 28 thousand, equivalent of over half a million lei.
According to the information from CIS, Onica is the director and founder of "Onica Comert" SRL, founded in 2007, and he has activities of import, manufacture, storage and sale of chemical materials, toxic chemicals and household products, and other types of trade. The company is registered in an apartment on str. Cuza Voda, which previously belonged to the family Onica. In the last financial report presented in 2012, the company did not report sales revenue. Iurie Onica’s wife, Aza Onica, is a psychologist. She said that she provides consulting and individual counseling and is fond of tarot cards interpretation. "The house is purchased from money taken from the bank. It is indicated in the statement of income and property from the CNI", said Iurie Onica. He did not say details about how he will repay the four loans taken in 2013 and 2014. Also, he denied of being a relative of the ex-MP Simion Furdui.
UPDATE: Onica Iurie owns a house of 100 sqm located in a neighborhood of villas on the outskirts of Chisinau. The property came into the possession of Onică by a contract of sale registered at the Cadastre on June 17 2014. The same day it was placed as security for a loan of 1.1 million lei at Eximbank. After three months, Onică takes a new loan of 150 thousand lei, at the same bank, with repayment deadline - August 2029. The plot of 0.066 ha on which the house is built belonged since 2004 Dorin Damir about whome the press wrote that he is godson of Vladimir Plahotniuc. In 2011 he sold his land to Iurie Dogotari which, in turn, sold it in 2013, to Sergey and Galina Vacari spouses. Also in 2013 Vacari family began construction of the building that now is in the possession of the head of the ENRA.
This investigation has been produced as part of the “Journalists for Integrity in Public Service” campaign, carried out the Center for Investigative Journalism with the Support of the Good Governance Program of Soros Foundation Moldova. The donor does not influence the topic or content of the published investigations.