Yesterday's detention of the Consul General of Moldova in Istanbul, Veaceslav Filip, was held as part of a criminal case initiated recently. Details were provided in a press conference, held by the Prosecutor General and the Security and Information Service.

According to the acting Prosecutor General, Eduard Harunjen, the criminal case that provided for the detention of the diplomat, involved 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 consular staffs were complicit in this scheme of extortion and corruption.

They issued consular documents in exchange for a few hundred dollars. The police stated that people under cover passed money to the consular staffs.

Representatives of the SIS and prosecution have said they will provide more information, including video recordings later, as the prosecution continues.

The cause is allegedly related to a previous criminal case that involved the honorary consul of Syria in Chisinau. In February 2015, he, together with his brother, was suspected of influence peddling and complicity in influence peddling and several searches were conducted in their homes. They demanded money in exchange for the issuance of documents that enabled entry into the country of citizens of Syria. Namely, this cause was the basis for documenting the activities of Moldova’s consul in Istanbul.

SIS director, Mihai Balan, said that the consulate in Istanbul encouraged activities with a terrorist element.

Currently, only the diplomat, detained yesterday at 10:00 p.m. in Chisinau International Airport, has the status of a suspect in this case.

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