The shopping center "Elat", first commercial center from Chisinau, was involved throughout the time, in various crime related scandals: dispossession of shares, illegal transactions, corruption, scams, attacks. All sorts of people were involved in the controversial history of Elat: businessmen more or less honest, thieves in law and criminal authorities, politicians, killers, judges, bailiffs, prosecutors, police officers, bodyguards and even the person considered by most orthodox Moldovans the pillar of morality, the Metropolitan Vladimir.

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How did the commercial center "Elat" appear

Looks like the “Elat” Business started with illegalities from the very beginning. The head and the creator of the brand is Leonid Volneanschi, who was known during the communist period as patronage, sponsor and close friend of Vladimir Voronin. The former communist President was grateful to Volneanschi, awarding him twice with state distinctions.

Leonid Volneanschi

Leonid Volneanschi. Source: VIP-magazin

To realize his dream, Volneanschi finds a business partner in the Russian Federation, Gudcov Roman, president of Global Investment Company, which takes 49% stake in “Elat Co." firm and 15% of the" Invest Elat " company. The group of companies "Elat" is completed by "Elat Retservice", "Elat Profit" and "Sigma Co.".

In 2008, the "Elat" group bought from the state, 71.67% of the stakes of  "Sigma" enterprise for 81.6 mil. lei. The administrative block and other rooms have been upgraded for commercial office facilities, and on the territory of the former factory appeared the commercial center "Elat". It is interesting that the transaction price per share was exactly one cent higher than required by the state, enough for the privatization to be considered legal.   


After the transaction has been made, the massive take over of the former factory by the  "Elat" holding begins. This process reaches the interests of the real estate businessman Valeriu Boicenco fiduciary company, „Europa-Trust Co.”, which is currently holding 26.15% of shares in “Sigma Co.”. Boicenco refused to give up and started a real battle in the courts to determine the ownership of  Elat, to take into consideration its interests.  However, Boicenco lost the battle and several criminal cases were initiated on his name, which are still open.

The police and the prosecutors helped Volneanschi to build "Elat"

Russian investors' money seem to have been insufficient to achieve Volneanschi’s dream. While appearing in the media as a generous patronage by sponsoring sports clubs and artists, but also the ruling Communist Party, Leonid Volneanschi borrowed large sums of money from individuals. Our investigation shows that he had borrowed a total of about 6 million lei.

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According to the document, Volneanschi borrowed 300 thousand euro from the former prosecutor, Alexandru Ciorba, 724 000 euros from Sergiu Garabagiu, former head of the supervision of the prosecution from the General Prosecutor’s Office, 400 thousand euros and 200 thousands of dollars from Larisa Nefiodchina, the widow of former interlope authority Valeri Rotari, alias Zelionîi, assassinated in early 2000, 90 thousand euro from the Colonel Vladimir Racu, former division head of the Department for Combating Organized Crime, during the period of the General Nicolae Alexei, 450 thousand dollars and 200 thousand euros from the former head of the General Directorate for analysis, monitoring and evaluation of politics within the Minister of Interior, Vladimir Turcan, and 550 thousand euros from Ecaterina Metev, is said to be close to Vladimir Turcan and that money would actually belong to him.

It is also said that Volneanschi would have borrowed 1 million euros from the the former bodyguard of the family Stati and current businessman, Ion Vînaga, and one hundred thousand euros from the thief in law, Veaceslav Grigoriev, alias Şket, known as being protected by the Jewish mafia.

Larisa Nefiodkina says that after her husband was assassinated, she tried face the reality by herself and invested their savings in the construction of private houses. After selling a house, a common acquaintance introduced her to Volneanschi and persuaded her to lend him money.

Vladimir Racu argues that the money belong to his daughter, who sold a piece of land, gift from her mother-in-law.

A criminal case was initiated in 2013 on Vladimir Ţurcan’s name, for false declaration of assets, a case that had no outcome.

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Vladimir Ţurcan. Source: moldovacurata.md

Volneanschi does not pay his debt

Although he signed contracts, Volneanschi did not pay back voluntarily  the debts to his physical creditors, except Vînaga and Grigoriev. Thus, Ciorbă, Garabagiu, Nefiodkina, Racu, Ţurcan and Metev, addressed the court with the request for recovery of debt and each one of them won the case.
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But not everyone manages to recover their money, except Vladimir Ţurcan, Metev and Alexandru Ciorbă.

Vladimir Turcan was named in 2010, the administrator of the company „ Elat-constructor” one of the companies of „Elat” holding. According to the State Registration Chamber, is still holding this position, although he claims that he keft the position long ago.

Having court decisions on hand and decisions on sequesters application, Garabagiu, Nefiodkina and Racu, still couldn’t recover their money. It is said that Vladimir Racu had finally reached an agreement with the new owners of Elat, who had promised to return 1,000 euro each month.

How the judges cheated on Volneanschi’s creditors

On 27.07.2012, at the request of a bailiff, George Botan, Anatolie Bănărescu, president of the Chamber of bailiffs from the Central Court of Chisinau, issue a disposition, to join in a single case all the execution proceedings on Leonid Volneanschi’s name.

On April 17th, 2013, George Boţan issued an agreement to transmit all the 13% of of the shares held by Volneanschi to the former prosecutor Alexandru Ciorbă.  
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The file states that the shares package price owned by Volneanschi was reduced substantially, reaching to cost just over two million three hundred thousand lei.

Subsequently , the Central Court from Chisinau canceled the ordinance to transmit Volneanschi’s share package to Ciorbă, but the decision had no effect, and the shares reached the possession of „Moldelina Ltd”.

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In an interview with the blogger Veaceslav Balacci in early December, 2016, Leonid Volneanschi said that George Boţan is involved in the scheme that left him without his business.

George Boţan is currently under arrest and is accused in “Russian money laundry” case.

George Botan
George Boţan. Source: Facebook.com

In 2011, Boţan was accused of involvement in the Universalbank attack and was dismissed from the system, but was restored shortly by the court. In 2015, the Minister of Justice Vladimir Grosu, tried to dismiss Boţan from the system, but he was restored with the help of the magistrate from the Supreme Court of Justice, Oleg Sternioală, who has a friendly relationship with Boţan. He was noticed at the magistrate’s wedding, which took place in autumn of 2014.

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Larisa Nefiodkina: "The bailiff forged my signature"


Initially, the enforcement title reached the custody of the bailiff Nelea Sărătură, which took measures to ensure enforcement. By Bănărescu’s decision the case is forwarded to Boţan. The woman said: “My daughter Elvira was sick with cancer. I was with her to a clinic in Israel. When I returned to Chisinau, Sărătură said he forwarded the dossier to Boţan. She said the my husband called and gave his consent to send the file to Boţan. Everyone knows how my Valera died and that he was buried long ago.”

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Rotari Valerii. Source: report.md

Nefiodkina aslo said that she found out from the investigation officer of the NAC,  Ion Crudu, that executor Gorobeţ Ruslan would have forged her signature on a document,  which would have allowed Volneanschi’s  seized shares, be sold to the company "Moldelina".

The document below demonstrates that the dossier of execution filed on Leonid Volneanschi’s name, was under Ruslan Gorobeţ’s management for a period of time.

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Ruslan Gorobeţ, unlike his colleague George Boţan, remained without a license because he was involved in the raider attack from Universalbank. Some NAC  sources have told us that a criminal case on Gorobeţ’s name was opened, but he is currently out of the country.

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Finally enforcement order issued Larisa Nefiodkina disappeared. The bailiff, Oleg Ungureanu, who took the file from George Boţan, claims in a letter signed on the 10th of  March, 2016, that Nefiodkina is not involved in the file.

Nefiodkina complained about the illegal actions of the executors to the court, and the complaint reached the management of the well-known prosecutor it the NAC, Adriana Beţişor. The prosecutor issued an order on the termination of criminal prosecution. Subsequently, the investigating judge of the Buiucani Court, Victor Răţoi, canceled Beţişor’s order, sending the case to a new examination. Coincidentally or not, but managed case reaches the management of the same Adriana Beţişor.

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Up to this moments, a decision in this case was not taken yet.

Please, note that in 2013 the National Anticorruption Center started a criminal case on  Leonid Volneanschi’s name, for scams in large proportions. The case reached the custody of the prosecutor Adriana Beţişor who issued an order to stop the criminal investigation because "the consecutive elements of the offense are missing".

Who are de jure and de facto owners of the Elat and Jewish mafia traces

Leonid Volneanschi said in the interview with Balacci that he was stripped of his business and has nothing to do with Elat. According to the State Registration Chamber, the founders of "ICS Global Investment LLC" , „Global-Investment LLC” are: Procudin Svetlana, Salagor Igor, Stratulat Bianca, Stratulat Dorin, Stratulat Efim, Stratulat Elena, Stratulat Maria, Stratulat Mariana and Leonid Volneanschi.

"ICS Global Investment LLC" owns 49 percent of stakes in the company holding, and belongs to businessman Ion Vînaga.

The Russian businessman Roman Gudkov, former owner of the company "Global Investment", declared in August 2012 that was illegally expropriated of his wealth from Moldova, following an attack raider organized by Ion Vînaga.

Ion Vînaga
Ion Vînaga. Source: nihf.md

Following the attack, Vînaga took the possession of the assets estimated at 18 million euros, paying a price of only $ 500. According to Gudkov, Vînaga committed breach of trust,  alienated the Russian businessman's properties without his consent. udcov had signed a power of attorney on Vînaga’s name, on Metropolitan Vladimir’s recommendation, who had blessed last document with holy water.  It is known that Ion Vînaga’s office is on the Moldovan Metropolitan territory.

To loose track, Vînaga registered the share package on Alexandru Harghel’s name, who is no other than his bodyguard. On the 4th of August 2014, Alexandru Harghel is hospitalized in serious condition with gunshot wounds. It is interesting that the man was hospitalized under another name, and the case did not have any outcome. A rumor is speculated among the businessmen that Vînaga had shot his guard after a fight.

They say that Vînaga has also shot the well-known Russian businessman, Ralif Safin, the father of the Russian singer, Alsu. The Moldovan businessman would have stripped the Russian businessman of his assets in the sugar factories from Moldova.

The family of former policeman and the son in law of the General Alexei, Ion Stratulat, inherited the 25 percent of stakes in Elat, after Stratulat was assassinated by world champion in wrestling, Ion Şoltoianu in September of 2011.

Stratulat acquired the 25 percent stake of Elat in 2006. There is a rumor that one of the shareholders owned Stratulat a big sum of money, and because he wasn’t able to return it, he gave him a part of his shares. There was also another rumor that in 2011, Stratulat was preparing to take an important package of shares from a shareholder.

"Elat", in the person of Volteanschi, sponsored Şoltianu’s sportsmen, and this did not please Stratulat. Şoltoianu was given the information that Stratulat, who assassinated the businessman Igor Basarab, had plotted the athlete’s assassination.

In his turn Stratulat though that Şoltoianu wanted to kill him. Some close sources to the investigation, stated then that “Someone intentionally set them against one another. The name of this person, I think, will be known in the near future.”        


The General Nicolae Alexei said Soltoianu killed Şoltoianu on order. The basic version of the sportsman’s lawyers was overrunning defense. Şoltoianu said later at a hearing that he was sorry he killed Stratulat and some sources close to the athlete, told us that he hated Volneanschi.

Although he claims he lost his business and has nothing anymore, in state register of enterprises, Leonid Volneanschi is listed as an owner of 13 percent of stakes in Elat.

More voices argue that Elat is under Mihail Aizin’s , alias Kitaeţ management, a leader of the so-called "Hebrew organization".

Although officially the manager of Elat is Vadim Gherman, the one who actually manages the Elat is Simion Şpighel, alias Sima, a close friend of Kitaeţ. Larisa Nefiodkina and Vladimir Racu confirmed that they met Şpighel at Elat. Moreover, Nefiodkina claims that Şpighel told her she will never see her money.

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 Mihail Aizin. Source: Eparhia Bălţi 

The version of Aizin's involvement in the Elat’s takeover and control is confirmed by Roman Gudkov, who claims that Vînaga is actually managed by Kitaeţ.


Mihail Aizin invested funds in the illegal business activity. In 2004, the period when Vladimir Voronin declared war on organized crime, Mihail Aizin, who was 39 years old at the time, was arrested. Shortly Kitaeţ is released and leaves Moldova, settling in Germany.

Currently, Aizin is the owner of 14 companies in Moldova, controls the market from Calea Basarabiei, and is the official owner of supermarket chain " Fidesco".

Simion Şpighel alongside with Aizin  appears as the co-founder of several companies, just like Igor Salaga, who holds four per cent of stakes in Elat. Svetlana Procudin, who owns 9 percent of the shares from "Elat", is said to be close friends with Igor Salaga.

It is also said that a parts of the shares is controlled Renato Usatîi, however this information could not be verified. 

Investigation, Elat
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