Although there are several legal rules to defend people with disabilities, real estate scammers find different loopholes in legislation to deprive them of their homes. Some of them have to spend the rest of their days in the street, others, more lucky, end up in asylums. The authorities shrug off their shoulders, while the scammers enjoy the money of those who can not defend their own rights. It is also the case of Victor Pahomis, a 41-year-old man with intellectual disabilities from Chisinau, who ended upin the street after his tutor sold his home, where he spend his childhood.
On August 10, 2018, after he had disappeared for more than half a year, Victor Pahomis returned to his house on Bulgara Street, no.15.
Instead of his house, the man found a two-tier construction and several workers who worked there. There was no trace of the little furniture and personal belongings in the house. A neighbor told him that the property was sold.
The first night he slept on the staircase of a grocery store, thenhe was housed in a bar by a neighbor.
Victor told us that he was taken by a woman named Valea into a village where he "swept and dug", then he no longer remembered how he got back into the street, from where he was taken by the police to the hospital of Psychiatry. The man does not know how long he stayed there, but one day the doctors told him he could go home.
According to cadastral data, the house no.4 on Bulgara street nr. 15, originally belonged to Victor's grandparents, then passed to his mother's property, and in September 2016, half a year after the death of the woman, the owners of the building became his two sons, Pahomis Victor and Culizmin Andrei.
What do neighbors say?
The neighbors, including some who know Victor since he was little, are disappointed by the fact that he was left on the streets.
"He consumes alcohol and lives in misery. But it was his home, and he was an ordinary man. They used him, took his house and left him in the street. We are revolted, there is no way you can leave someone without a house" said a resident of Bulgara Street no. 15.
Iurie, another resident in the area, claims to know Victor since childhood: "He is a peaceful man. He was swiping around the shops and yards, earning his living."
The neighbors say that before he disappeared, Victor cared for a woman named Valea, who had a bridal dress store on Armeneasca Street.
"She's not a simple woman, she's a rich woman, she's has a nice car and a personal driver. She was nice with Victor, gave him a rug, clothes, and bought him food. Then Victor disappeared, but I did not see Valea either," said a neighbor.
Who bought Victor Pahomis’s house
The house No.4 on Bulgara Street 15, was bought in December 2017 by Gheorghe Dombrovschi, a young policeman from Orhei.
The man says he found on an ad site the information that a house was sold in Chisinau for 16,000 euro, and after negotiations he bought it for 13,000 euros.
The man claims to have negotiated the deal with Valentina Vezetiu, who signed the contract instead of Victor Pahomis. The contract was also signed by Andrei Culizmin, Victor's brother. The new owner of the house, the policeman Gheorghe Dombrovschi, also told us that Victor was witnessing the transaction, but his signature was not obligatory, because he was declared a person without distinction. At the same time, Valentina Vezetiu presented to the notary documents from Preature that she is Victor's tutor and that he accepts the sale of the building.
"The house was disconnected from electricity and aqueduct. Mrs. Valentina told me that Victor can no longer live in such conditions and she is going to buy him another home,"the young man told us.
Gheorghe Dombrovschi also told us that after the transaction he had problems with Valentina Vezetiu: "After taking the money, Ms. Valentina said she had to leave urgently, as someone got sick, andshe did not sign a document to the notary. I had to look for her for four months, eventually signing all the papers to the notary, and I could take possession of the building."
Andrei Culizmin: "Valea convinced Victor that she is his mother"
Andrei Culizmin says he was contacted by Valentina Vezetiu, who persuaded him to sell his share of the building on Bulgarski Street. The young man says that following the transaction he received 5000 euros, of which 700 was borrowed by Valentina Vezetiu.
"Gheorghe gave the money to the notary, and the notary gave me 5,000 euros and said it was my part. I do not know how much the house was sold for. Then I was contacted by Mrs. Valentina, who asked me to lend her 700 euros to make some papers. I gave her, but she did not return it to me. The last time we talked to her it was about 2 months ago. She said that she had bought Victor a house in Buiucani sector, that he was there, and she took careof him, and also that she would get me acquainted with the Buiucani praetor in the near future to convince me that Victor was alright," said Andrei Culizmin.
The man also told us that he had not seen his brother since the day the transaction was made and claimed he had opposed when Valentina Vezetiu was named Victor's tutor: "I do not know where this woman was from. But Victor said she was his mother. Ms. Valentina is an absolutely foreign person for us. After my mother's death, I wanted to be named my brother's tutor, but those from Praetura in the Centru sector opposed, claiming I was diabetic and disabled. Ms Angela from PreeturaCentru took care of the documents. I wanted to appeal the decision, but Ms. Angela said I have no right".
Andrei Culizmin showed us some complaints about this subject, which were filed with the police and Praetora, but also two police responses stating that Victor Pahomis is safe under the tutelage of Valentina Vezetiu.
Andrei believes that identity papers, as well as the bank card, on which the brother's pension is transferred, are at Valentina Vezetiu.
Although he has an apartment of more than 50 square meters, Andrei Culizmin did not want to shelter his brother from the street.
Bănaruc's mother-in-law, convicted in a corruption file
ValentinaVezetiuwas born in Ukraine and is 52 years old. Witnesses say that she lives in a luxury apartment in a block at the intersection of the Bulgara and August 31streets, opposite to the Pretura Center.
The woman is the ex-wife of NicolaeVizitiu, the secretary of the Moldovan Handball Federation. Contacted by phone, the man said she divorced Valentina in 2000, he did not know her phone number, they had not communicated for years, nor did he want to know what she was dealing with and where her ex-wife was.
Vizitiu has denied that the former wife would live in the block on August 31, 1989.
On the other hand, the guards at the entrance to the block yard claim that they know both Nicolae Vizitiu and his wife, Valentina, and that the last one would have disappeared for a month.
"I saw Colea recently. You are not the only ones looking forher, many people come and askfor Valentina. She owes money to lot of people,"a guardian told us.
ValentinaVezetius with daughter Illa. Source: Facebook.com
Illa, NicolaeVizitiu andValentina's daughter, is married to Eduard Banaruc, who until February 2016 was Deputy Chief of the Government Chancellery. He was convicted in the corruption case, filed on the name of former Fiscal chief NicolaeVicol. In 2013, the NAC officers discovered in Banaruc’soffice 40,000 dollars, over 1,500 euros and 25,000 lei, and the official said they were donations from his wedding and from his daughter's christening.
Eduard and Illa Banaruc. Source: Facebook.com
Banaruc’sgodfather is the former Prime Minister and current Minister of Economy, Chiril Gaburici.
The elders’ "protector" and scammers’ "loyal" client
Natalia Sicorschi from Chisinau showed us a receipt signed by Valentina Vezetiu, in which she recognizes a 1,700 dollars debt.
The young woman told us that her sister had definitively moved to the United States and entrusted them with selling her furniture. ValentinaVezetiu met a real estate agent named Raisa. Valentina convinced Natalia to release her furniture for a debt and signed an authenticated procuration to the notary.
The young woman admitted that she posted on the real estate site the announcement about the sale of the building on Bulgaru street no.15: "My sister had financial problems in America. Valentina told me that she owns a building on the Bulgaru Street, which she intends to payme back the debt. I was interested in posting my ad on the Internet. But Valentina has only returned a small part of the debt. Every time she promises to comeand bring me the money, then she disappears, either because she has a lawsuit, or somebody got sick."
On the website of the Supreme Court we found information about Valentina Vezetiu's failed attempt to acquire two apartments.
In the first case, this is an apartment on the bd. Stefancel Mare si Sfant, across the road from the Embassy of the Russian Federation. Vizetiu convinced Vera Objilean, aged 92, to sign a contract, according to which she gave up her house to ValentinaVezetiu on condition of her life maintenance.
The case was claimed by neighbors who saw Valentina Vezetiu and her acquaintance with the old lady leaving in an unknown direction.
Later, Valentina Vezetiu sued the old woman’s nephew, demanding her property rights to be recognized, but she lost the trial.
According to a similar scheme, the woman temporarily entered the possession of an apartment on Kiev Street, where she completed her residence visa. Valentina Vezetiu succeeded in obtaining a court decision, recognizing her as a relative, who took care of and buried an old lady, being also recognized as having the right to the apartment. The scam was found by the son of the deceased, who sued Vezetiuin court, but he also died shortly after and the request was removed. Then the old woman’s granddaughter got involved, who in 2014 won the trial against Vezetiu.
Only the latter does not want to leave the apartment, and the young woman, who is a recognized as owner, has to come up with a new lawsuit.
Currently, there are two men living in this apartment, who said to beValentinaVezetiu’sacquaintances. One of them, who is rather old, is certain that she will solve their problems, though he is aware that one day he could end up in the streets.
"Valeahelps people, she is the protector of elders and invalids," he told us.
The man admitted that he had a house in Chisinau he lost, but will talk about his case when it is needed.
The chairman of the cooperative, whose balance is the apartment taken over by Vezetiu, told us that the bills are not paid for years, and the accumulated debt is over 60 thousand lei.
ValentinaVezetiu is a defendant in many civil cases filed by individuals and lending organizations regarding the repayment of some debts.
What does Center Praetura say?
Pavel Rusu, the praetor of the Centru sector, claims that all legal norms have been observed when ValentinaVezetiu was appointed as Victor Pahomis's tutor. The official also showed us a statement, which would have been signed by Andrei Culizmin, that he is giving up his rights on his brother and that he is not against ValentinaVezetiubeing Victor’s tutor.
On the other hand, the official acknowledges that qualified persons were required to check how Valentina Vezetiu honorsher tutoring duties.
What do lawyers say?
DumitruRusu, Project Coordinator at the Institute for Human Rights in Moldova, told us that such cases, when people with intellectual disabilities have been deprived of their homes by tutors, are frequent. According to the jurist, in 2017 the law was amended so that people with special needs could decide on their own assets and sign on notary papers. At the same time, as of June 2018, there is no longer a tutelage institution on people with disabilities.
DumitruRusu believes that Victor Pahomis is the victim of a scam and that the Prosecutor's Office is to be notified. And if it turns out that ValentinaVezetiu is also withdrawing his monthly pension, then she risks being criminally prosecuted for theft as well.