Mihail Mocanu, aka Cvadrat, claims he spent 10 years in prison for a robbery he did not commit. The man, who is also a witness to the Makena case, claims that the real culprit is his friend, Alexander Lazarev, aka Burjic.

Mocanu sent to the editorial of CrimeMoldova his telephone conversation with Lazarev, adding that "finally, after 10 years, I managed to get the record of the statements made by the real organizer of the robbery in the Botanica District." According to it, Mocanu demands from Lazarev his share of money to pay the material damage to Mobiasbanca, this being the main condition for getting out of prison ahead of time. The detainee reminds his friend that he had done nothing to help him and that if he does not bring him the money by February 15, 2018, he will tell the prosecutors who had organized the robbery.

Lazarev replied to Mocanu that he had no money and that he had done everything possible to get him out of jail. Additionally, he asked the inmate not to denounce him and he will try to help him, adding that he recently met Vitalie Moisei, the policeman, who had detained him. "Moisei is an anti-corruption colonel, if he used to catch us, now, he can catch cops. We’ll make him come to the surface," Lazarev told his friend in  the audio recording.

Mihail Mocanu told CrimeMoldova that the case against him was framed up, and Lazarev was the one, who organized everything, while the person who committed the robbery has died.

The detainee also filed a complaint, which was taken over by Eduard Masnic, deputy prosecutor of Chisinau.

Asked by CrimeMoldova, the former police officer Vitalie Moisei, now head of the NAC, said that Mocanu was recognized by the cashier and by a random witness by photo. According to Moisei, the man that committed the robbery, which took place at 10 am in a currency exchange office in the Botanica District of the capital, came to the place of the crime by bicycle, wearing no mask. He shot a Kalashnikov automatic gun, put the money and the gun in his bag, and left the place riding his bike.

"We found the bag, without money, thrown into a yard. There we found a phone card, so we identified Lazarev, who lived nearby. Lazarev managed to leave for Ukraine, where we got him. He was detained for 45 days, then released by prosecutors, who found that he had not been involved in the case and that Mocanu had just spent a night at his place before committing the crime," the former policeman recollects.

Moisei told us that while he was trying to hold Mocanu, he threw a grenade at his feet: "It was in the morning, people were going to work, children to school and kindergarten. A passenger minibus stopped nearby. Later, the engineers told me that the grenade did not explode because the ring had not been sufficiently pulled. If it exploded, there were at least four dead people, including me."

Colonel Moisei rejects the allegation of a framed up case: "He was recognized by some witnesses and a ballistic expertise of his fingerprints was carried out. Mocanu made his statements revealing details of the robbery. He even apologized to me for the grenade. He told me he didn’t want to kill me, just to scare me. I didn’t torture him and didn’t take any money or other goods. It’s quite possible that someone uses this story to discredit me. In November 2017, someone called me and said that Mocanu had a special material for me. I said I don’t want to come back to this case and now I'm working in another field."


The garage where the bicycle was hidden

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The exchange office that was closed after the robbery had been behind this door

Asked by CrimeMoldova, Alexandru Lazarev claims that Mocanu is the only person guilty of committing the robbery, and he has nothing to do with it. "I think he's out of mind, he's alone in the cell for five years. I often helped Cvadrat, I helped his family. He and his wife, a former miss of Dubasari, were drug users. Nobody respected Misha or his relatives. He's a rotten man inside. He often asked for money, I gave it to him, but I cannot do this indefinitely. I am not guilty of the robbery in Botanica and I spent a month and a half in the penitentiary," Lazarev said.

Mihail Mocanu is under state protection, being a witness in the Makena case. In 2016, the detainee issued a statement in the press stating that followers of the Makena group are preparing to kill him, that prosecutors have failed to keep their promises, and he regrets being persuaded to make statements against the organized crime from prisons.

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