Moldova’s Consul General in Istanbul, Veaceslav Filip, has been placed under house arrest. Adrian Popenco, Deputy Anticorruption Prosecutor, confirmed the information.
Prosecutors suspect Veaceslav Filip, Moldova's consul general in Istanbul, of issuing acts to citizens of Arab origin that come from the conflict zone. Anticorruption prosecutors detained the diplomat in November this year, in front of the plane that took off from the Chisinau Airport.
Prosecutor General, Eduard Harunjen, announced that Filip is suspected of passive bribery. "The consul is presumed to have issued documents for entry and stay in Moldova to Arab people. It is very serious. These crimes had become systemic, "the official told.
According to Harunjen, the criminal case that involved the diplomat’s arrest, concerned a racketeering scheme, carried out by Arab citizens, who extorted money from their fellow citizens to facilitate their entry and stay in the territory of Moldova.
Thus, the investigation established that the consul and the consular staff were complicit in the scheme of extortion and corruption acts. They participated in the issuing of consular documents in exchange for a few hundred dollars. The police stated that an under-cover officer passed money to the consular staff.
Additionally, ISS director, Mihai Balan, said the consulate in Istanbul encouraged activities with a terrorist tint.
The cause is allegedly related to a previous criminal case that involved the honorary consul of Syria in Chisinau. In February 2015, together with his brother, he was suspected of misuse of power and complicity in influence peddling. Several searches had been carried out at their homes. They had allegedly demanded money in exchange for the release of documents enabling entry into the country to the citizens of Syria. Namely this case, was the basis for documenting the activities of Moldova’s consul in Istanbul.
Anticorruption prosecutors and ISS officers surveilled Veaceslav Filip over three months and gathered evidence of him taking bribes on the premises of the Consulate in Istanbul. Police conducted searches at his home. In addition to passive bribery, Veaceslav Filip could be made criminally liable for violation of legal rules related to combating terrorism.