The Principle of the Winemaking and Viticulture College from Chisinau was detained last night by the anticorruption officers and prosecutors, in the criminal case regarding the alienation of over 30 ha of land  attempt from Stăuceni suburb, belonging to the institution.

According to witness statements and evidence collected, the official would have received from one of the accomplices, 660 000 lei to approve the project of parting the land with an area of 38.09 ha in 32 sectors. After parting it in smaller sectors, the land was supposed to be sold.

According, the detained person is Lazăr  Chirică, former Vice Minister of the Environment in 2009-2015. According to the source, Chirică has previously been involved in public scandals. With his arrival at the head of the College, several staff members had been fired illegally.

Chirică has previously worked as a lecturer and associate professor. From 2007 until now, Chirică also holds the district councilor mandate in Cantemir District Council.

In a few weeks ago, another 12 people were detained in this criminal file, including current officials, entrepreneurs, lawyers and attorneys (a former deputy minister and head of department of the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Industry, a head of department of the National Agency for Cadastre and Land Registration, a former Minister of Justice and Secretary of the Supreme Security Council - Ion Morei, and a former head of the National Investigation Inspectorate).

The detainees are accused of constituting  scheme with the help of which they committed the attempted alienation of over 30 hectares of land that belonged, proprietary, to the College of Viticulture and Winemaking from Chisinau. According to the prosecution, the accused have leased the land for a term of 30 years, and subsequently changed its destination from unincorporated area to within the incorporated ares, tried to plot the lot and sell it to third parties. To obtain favorable decisions in order to achieve their intentions, they bribed various officials with various amounts of money.

Several criminal cases were initiated regarding these illegal actions on fraud, active and passive corruption, influence peddling and forgery of public documents. For these crimes, the suspects are facing up to 10 years of imprisonment.

In June of this year, other 4 officials of the college, including a former director, were detained by the NAC in a case of extortion. The suspects allegedly tried to take possession of five real estate assets, belonging to the College: an administrative building, a pharmacy, a laboratory, a food storage module, a barn, but also 12 hectares of land. The sum of these goods is up to several million lei.

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