One of the leading Moldova pharmaceutical companies is under examination of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s prosecutors. Bosnian investigators qualify eries of transactions between the pharmaceutical companies Bosnalijek and the Dita Estfarm Moldova as suspicious. The Dita Estfarm is the representative of the Farmacia Familiei in Moldova. Financial operations included some offshores and consulting contracts – showed the investigation, published by the rise.md.
Suspicious deals in Bosnia and Herzegovina
According to the occrp.org, Sarajevo’s prosecutors filed an indictment against the former bosses of the Bosnalijek, the largest Bosnian pharmaceutical company, because of creating a criminal group, money laundering and tax evasion in 2002- 2012 period.
The Bosnalijek’s bosses have earned more than 13 million dollars with their Illegal activities.
The operation was initiated after an extensive investigation of the Bosnalijek’s business documentation: there were found many irregularities and violations. Seven people, including the former director of the Bosnalijek, were arrested.
Connections between the Bosnalijek and the Dita Estfarm
According to the Sarajevo’s Financial Police in the 2006-2012 period, the Moldovan pharmaceutical company Dita Estfarm and the Bosnalijek signed cooperation agreements annually. In accordance with these contracts, the Dita Estfarm sold pharmaceutical drugs on Moldovan market worth over 2.5 million euros.
The RISE’s investigation shows that the first contract, signed in 2006, provided to Moldovan company a 10% discount of the total value of drugs sold. Later representatives of the two companies have agreed to reduce the final prices for the Dita Estfarm. But in the 2007 -2008 period, the discount money was transferred to the personal accounts of Chirtoaca (Svatlana and Yurie) spouses instead of company accounts.
The Bosnian money in the Chirtoacas’ budget
According to the contract signed in 2007, the Bosnalijek transferred to the director’s account of the Dita Estfarm over 5 thousand dollars and about 28 thousand dollars transferred to the his wife’s account. But Svetlana Chirtoaca had no relation to the any services her husband provided to Bosnians.
Investigators claim that Bosnian transfer from 2007 was illegal. The fact of paying 28 thousand dollars instead of Iurie Chirtoaca to Svetlana Chirtoaca was suspicious. Investigators claim that the Bosnalijek acted contrary to the consultancy contract and gave to Svetlana Chirtoaca the opportunity to obtain illegal income that harmed the Bosnalijek shareholders.
A year later, the Bosnalijek had done another transfer about 41 thousand euros to Svetlana Chirtoaca’s account. This time the fee was paid in accordance with a decision of the Bosnalijek’s Department of International Payments.
Yurie Chirtoaca’s reaction
RISE reporters contacted Yurie Chirtoaca. So he claims that all the payments were transferred in accordance with the contracts. He and his wife have prepared some documents for drug registration at the Medicines and Medical Devices Agency. They also developed a market analysis. These obligations were established in consultancy contracts with the Bosnalijek. The Dita Estafarm’s Director states that he isn’t involved in any fraudulent schemes and he is not suspected in the criminal case initiated by Bosnia and Herzegovina’s authorities: "I’m a doctor and my wife too. All the services we have provided are perfectly legal. I collaborated with this Bosnian company in 2007-2008 period".
Source: rise.md (Yurie Chirtoaca, the director of Dita Estfarm)
However, on April 11, the Prosecutor’s Office from Sarajevo announced that currently, "the prosecutors collect evidences in the case over the legality of payments made to consultants of the Moldovan company the Dita Estfarm".
Although Yurie Chirtoaca denies his involvement in any criminal case in Moldova, the General Police Inspectorate is investigating a criminal case where Chirtoaca is mentioned. The Dita Estfarm is suspected of tax evasion "which led to non-payment of taxes in especially large amounts" as the RISE notes.
The Dita Estfarm was involved in the drug crisis
According to the Ziarul National, on March 27, 2015, following the drugs scandal, the Public Procurement Agency has decided to include the Dita Estfarm in the list of companies, which have no right for participating in public tenders until March 2018.
In just four days, on March 31, the Agency has suspended its own decision. The Dita Estfarm participated in public tenders for several hospitals all around the country. The company won hundreds of tenders.
Moreover, the Dita Estfarm won 16 auctions during the period it wasn’t allowed to participate in tenders. The most important contract, signed in those days, was about 209 thousand lei. It was signed on March 30, 2015.
The Government reaction
Prime Minister Pavel Filip requested to check the Moldovan pharmaceutical market during his meeting with the representatives of the Prosecutor’s Office, the National Anticorruption Centre, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Ministry of Healthcare. He requested also to check the fraudulent schemes in which the officials are involved.
Source: canal3.md (Pavel Filip)
The investigation indicated some illegal schemes used on the pharmaceutical market of Moldova with references to Ukraine and Romania. Some officials are involved in those schemes. My request is to verify the criminal aspect of those schemes and all the data mentioned in journalistic investigations. The conclusions will be presented on a public press conference. This investigation have to make things clear to the publicThe PM’s reaction was caused by numerous publications in media about the fraudulent schemes with drug sales with the involvement of Moldovan officials.