Looks like Tatiana Cebotari’s daughter and son-in-law appeared on the list of people arrested by the anticorruption prosecutors in the rigged auctions file. Tatiana Cebotari is the Counsellor of the Minister of Education, Corina Fusu. Those detained are Natalia and Sergei Bahcivanji, employees of the company Sanex Comerţ, a leading provider of food in kindergartens from the capital city, as Anticorupţie.md writes.

Also, the two represent the company Status-Prim, another winner of the auctions organized by departments of education from Chisinau. The fact that Natalia Bahcivanji is Tatiana Cebotari’s daughter was confirmed for anticoruptie.md, by several sources from the Ministry of Education and the Court of Auditors, where she had previously worked.

According to an investigations conducted by CrimeMoldova, Sanex-Trade was the company with the most expensive offers for food of this year for EDYS Ciocana, worth 3.8 million lei. In the company's offer can be found many of the foods which were discussed during the phone interceptions earlier published by the NAC including: chicken fillets, frozen chicken, chicken legs, frozen fish, potatoes, pasta, deodorized oil, and other products. Moreover, on a page of Moldovan companies, a resident from Floreşti complained about the quality of the frozen fish provided by Sanex-Comerț to a kindergarten from the town. According to the commentary, the fish is of poor quality and even altered.

Sanex has over 50 contracts with several institutions from Floreşti staring from 2012 until now, with a total value of over 3 million lei. The company, which was registered in 2010, is one of the companies that won the most contracts for food supply. Only this year, Sanex won about 328 contracts, the total value of which constitutes about 13, 8 mln lei. The company was registered by Grosu Stepanida. During the previous years, Sanex had over 3,000 contracts, worth over 190 mln lei. Sanex had contracts with EDYS Centru, EDYS Botanica.

The Status-Prim company was created in 2009 in the village Alexandrovca, Ialoveni district, where the Company Sanex Trade also has its headquarters. The company is founded and managed by Natalia Bahcivanji, the daughter of Corina Fusu’s Counsellor. In 2012, the company earned hundreds of auctions for providing food to education institutions of the country, but later did not participate in auctions anymore.

According to the source, this year again, the company has not signed contracts with any of the municipal education departments. It has either been contracted through Central Market or was a subcontractor of Sanex Trade Ltd.

Natalia and her husband Sergei Bahcivanji seem to appear and the NAC wiretaps made public, in a discussion about bad apples which were to be delivered to kindergartens.

The daughter and son-in-law of Corina Fusu’s Counsellor re being investigated for influence peddling and active corruption. Currently they are in custody for 20 and 30 days.

While contacted by phone by Anticorupţie.md, Tatiana Cebotari confirmed that Natalia Bahcivanji is her daughter but denied that she had any connection with the Sanex Trade and Prime Status companies, which won the tenders. She reacted saying “These companies have won tenders in 2009, 2010. I am the ministry for a year now, how could I possibly influence these tenders?”

Cebotari said that she regrets that after a faultless career in the Court of Auditors and in the National Agency for Energy Regulation, she is now so badly spoken about in the media. She stated: “Did anyone prove my daughter’s guilt? Is there a court’s decision? We are currently carrying out inspections throughout the country, and I can say that we haven’t found bad quality food.”

Minister of Education, Corina Fusu, did not elaborate on the information, stating for the source that she is on sick leave.

However, the Ministry of Education confirmed on Wednesday, November 30th, that Tatiana Cebotari’s daughter is among those detained by the NAC in the rigged auctions dossier.

A press release of the institution states: “Tatiana Cebotari’s professional activity has no connection with that of her daughter, and the Ministry of Education has nothing to do with the commercial agents  investigated by the NAC.”

The press service of the institution said that "the Ministry of Education is not involved in the organization, operation and monitoring of public tenders for the purchase of food or other goods for schools and kindergartens. The procurement procedures shall be the exclusive prerogative of local public bodies of II level (district / municipal councils)”

On November 24th, the anticorruption officers and prosecutors announced the arrest of 17 public servants and representatives of commercial agents, in the rigged auctions file. A total of 23 people are currently suspected. The NAC representatives said that the rigged auctions were held by arranging the competition conditions for a commercial agent, where different companies were participating, which in reality were managed by the same person, or submitting information in exchange for money about other submitted offers. The bribe amount was up to 10,000 lei.

Currently, 17 of the 23 people involved in the rigged auctions case received arrest warrants. If their guilt will be proven they face up to 25 years in prison, a fine of up to 8,000 conventional units and deprivation of the right to hold public positions for a period of 10 years. 

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