The Head of the Plant Protection Products and Fertilizers Department of the National Agency for Food Safety (NAFS), together with three employees of the Ialoveni, Drochia, Dubasari territorial subdivisions and three businessmen, will appear before the magistrates for corruption offenses and forgery in public documents.

The criminal case, in which the seven persons are targeted, was sent to court by the Anti-Corruption Prosecutor's Office, and the prosecutors found that through alleged illegal actions they would have caused very large amounts of damage to the state budget.

NAFS employees are accused that, between January and February 2016, they would have released more than 360 national phytosanitary certificates to some economic agents, who also have the status of suspects, to export about 7,200 tons of apples to the Russian Federation. In fact, the certificates were used to export apples from Poland to Russia via Belarus, without crossing the Moldovan border. As a result, the economic agents would have appropriated 260 thousand lei as VAT from the RM budget, presenting fictitious documents to the tax authorities.

During the criminal investigation, the accused persons did not admit the guilt. The preventive measure - judicial control - has been applied to them.

The Prosecutor's Office announces that in order to ensure the recovery of the damage caused by the offense, seizures of almost 480,000 lei, over 4900 euro and 10400 US dollars belonging to the defendants were applied, money which were detected during the searches.

At the same time, the anticorruption prosecutors have issued a separate case on active corruption actions regarding the NAFS decision-makers, committed by natural persons interested in counterfeiting of phytosanitary certificates, as well as other economic entities that have benefited from counterfeit phytosanitary certificates.

If they are found guilty, the suspects risk up to ten years in prison with the deprivation of the right to hold certain positions or to perform certain activities for a period of 10 to 15 years, as well as the collection of judicial expenses amounting to 22300 lei.

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