In May 2014, Iurie Leanca’s youngest son, Liviu Tristan, has promoted an undergraduate course of study at a private college in the UK, in the town of Cambridge. The young man appears in photos taken at events organized for graduates 2014, published on the Internet. The school where the Leanca’s youngest son studied is specialized in preparing international students for admission to universities in the UK. And the payment for studies, at least a part of about 40 000 dollars, equivalent to more than 25 000 pounds, was made by the convicted by the first instance in the case of bank fraud, Ilan Shor. More specifically, one of his nonresident companies, involved in stealing the billion - Tomton Trade Corp., that have opened account with ABLV Latvian bank. This company is one of dozens of companies used by Shor for laundering money resulted from loans. According to the scheme characteristic to "theft of the US$ 1 billion”, the funds removed from banks as loans passed, before reaching to a final destination, through a series of transfers from one company to another. Thus it was camouflaged origin of money.
One of these companies is Tomton Trade Corp., acknowledged even by Shor in statements given to the prosecution and upheld in court hearings. We refer to two payments from bank statements of this company. One was made on October 9, 2012. The Shor's company transferred 20 882 dollars, converted into 12 912 pounds, on the British Company’s accounts, Cambridge Arts and Sciences Limited. With the specification "payment for Liviu Tristan Leanca". Cambridge Arts and Sciences Limited is just the company that owns the college, where Liviu Tristan Leanca was among graduates in 2014. Another payment appears on bank statements from the account in pounds of Tomton Trade on February 12, 2013. Sor transferred to the school in Cambridge, for Liviu Tristan Leanca, 12 700 pounds.
The amount was converted in about 20 000 dollars. Copies of turnovers where appear these payments were offered to Jurnal TV by lawyer Ion Cretu, the Veaceslav Platon’s defender - one of the convicts in bank fraud case. Payments were made for Leanca after Shor took over the control of Unibank. After this preceded Banca Sociala and Banca de Economii. It is a stage when, according to investigations Kroll, the portfolio of loans granted to the group of companies and persons related to Shor began to grow rapidly. Financial detectives have presented concrete figures. In a period of only six months, the amount of stolen money increased by over one billion MDL. Usually, the funds went to different offshore companies. Including the company from which account was made the payment of the studies for Iurie Leanca’s youngest son. The first attempt to get a reaction from the Prime Minister on this subject was a failure. The official considered as evidence of lack of common sense to be expected on morning at the gate of his house.
A second attempt was no more successful, even if it was already in the Government building. Iurie Leanca passed reporter without answering his questions. Finally, after hours of waiting, at the third attempt, the Prime Minister asked whether there was evidence. When he received an affirmative response, he said the evidence would be false and that Jurnal TV is a TV belonging to a political Party, which would have an interest to defame him.
Ilan Sor’s Company, Tomton Trade Corp., is a company that Moldovan prosecutors know very well. At least it should be, taking into account they used its turnovers in the process of investigating bank fraud file. At least two episodes - Vladimir Filat and Cyril Lucinschi. The judgment against ex-premier and, respectively, ex-deputy, contains information about more transfers made by Shor towards the last two, namely through Tomton Trade Corp. One of payments that prosecutors have complained Filat and for which he was sentenced, came from that company. It was a transfer of 49 500 dollars, that on April 19, 2013, received an offshore from Belize, assigned by Filat’s prosecutors.
The sentence of Chiril Lucinschi, among other transfers from Shor, specifies four payments made through Tomton Trade Corp. This court decision points out undeniable evidence that prosecutors have the operations of the SOR’s company Tomton Trade Corp. Among the evidences accusing Chiril Lucinschi were included these statements, for accounts in euros and dollars, for the period January 4, 2011 - March 13, 2013. During this time, the company owned by Sor made both payments for Leanca’s son. The first one is on the account statements in dollars. In the same turnover occurs and the operation of converting US dollars into Pounds for the second payment. Moreover, information on currency exchange is on the same page with one of the transfers incriminated to Lucinschi. Transfer, which, in hearing, the prosecutors said that the defendant "should have known that comes from an illegal banking circuit." Moreover, the prosecution made this statement on all transfers came from Tomton Trade Corp.
It is unclear why prosecutors saw some payments from the bank statements of the company and have not seen the others. Why they appeared before the court with the transfers that led to Filat and Lucinschi through their companies, but did not appear before the court with payments indicating the son's name, then a minor, of a high-ranking official? An official, who, at the time of those payments, was Minister of Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and later occupied the position of Prime Minister exactly during the period when Banca de Economii and the Airport were given to Shor. Leanca was Prime Minister then, when the Government allowed the National Bank to remove from state reserves the first installment of 9.5 billion lei to cover the hole formed in Banks controlled by Shor by lending fraudulent credits to Sor. Amount, which was later transformed into state debt and the Moldovan citizens should return it.
Leanca was, also, as head of Government when the executive ended in dispute with the International Company Le Bridge, competitor of Shor Duty Free trade. After a conviction of Republic of Moldova dictated by the International Center for Settlement of Investment Dispute, of two solutions on reconciliation submitted by the institution, the Government headed by Leanca chose the solution favorable for Shor’s business, even if the Moldovan citizens paid 35 million instead of 6.5 million lei, or five times more! Another episode showing the relations between Leanca and controversial banker, today mayor of Orhei, is old scandal with diplomatic registration numbers granted illegally by Moldovan Embassy in Moscow, including Ilan Shor, while Iurie Leanca was Minister of Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
According to a document that Jurnal TV held, but that we shall not present to protect the identity of the source, prosecutors have the operations of Tomton Trade from ABLV Bank on September 8, 2015. Leanca was heard in the criminal case against Filat after more than a month at that time - on October 14. We looked for the ex-deputy head of the Anticorruption Prosecutor’s Office, Adriana Betisor, who is also head of the group of investigators in the case regarding bank fraud. We wanted to know if investigators have asked Leanca about transfers for his son's studies, made by the company owned by Shor. And if not, why? We went to the National Anti-Corruption Center, where Betisor has her office.
At the CNA we found out that Adriana Betisor was to the General Prosecutor’s Office. Even there, however, she was not found. Her name does not appear in the register of visitors.
It was not possible to contact Betisor on the phone, who had interrupted phone calls or the phone was continuously busy. Officials of the Press Service announced us that Adriana Betisor will not be available either in the following days. Eventually, we sent our questions in writing, however, up to the production of this material we have not received any answer.
Further, Leanca speaks of two meetings with Shor. One that was attended by Vladimir Filat Vladimir Plahotniuc, and another attended by members of the Government. During those meetings, Shor assured that despite "extremely alarming signals" the situation would be under control. Leanca said that Vladimir Filat suggested him the proposal on the granting of honorary consul office and the solution on the disposal of Banca de Economii by the State. Thus, confirmed some statements made by Shor day earlier against Leanca’s ex-head of the Party. No word on transfers made by banker from BEM, Banca Sociala and Unibank for his youngest son’s education. And, no word about other meetings with Sor. Later, in a TV show, he admitted that there were less formal meetings.
Ilan Shor, who, describing in detail numerous transfers to Vladimir Filat in the witnesses submitted to the prosecution, did not speak about at least two payments made for Leanca’s son. Even he mentioned his name. Shor said that Filat agreed with Leanca both for the positions of consul, while the latter was Minister of Foreign Affair, as well as for the disposal by the state of majority stake in Banca de Economii, when he already was Prime Ministers. The Banker listed exact amounts he would pay to Filat, for a service or another, but did not say a word about any payments to Leanca. Today he did not deny, but says he does not remember.
Further, instead of giving answers, Shor began to accuse Jurnal TV and other media, whose representatives tried to ask questions. It happened during an event where the ex-banker invited the press to praise himself and his party, and then did not answer the questions.
The private education institution based in Cambridge, where studied Iurie Leanca’s youngest son, provides various opportunities for education, from summer courses upon courses preparing for the university, which costs up to 30 000 Pounds per year. The accommodation is included in this amount. Each student has a separate apartment, with personal bathroom, in a modern campus located near the center of the city. The amount of 25 612 Pounds, transferred by Shor’s company for Leanca’s son education, is the equivalent to over 560 000 MDL. Or more than 90 average wages in the Republic of Moldova! Reported to Iurie Leanca’s revenues for last two years, this amount means as his gain to about 20 months. Reported to the revenues for 2014, when his younger son graduated the educational institution in Cambridge, this amount means as salary for better than two years and a half. That is a very big responsibility. It is important to note that Iurie Leanca was the only one who brought income in the family, and during the same period, his eldest son studied abroad. In Germany, to an institution where tuition varies between 18 000 and 22 000 euros. According to the reports on the assets, Iurie Leanca has reserves of tens of thousands of euros, since the period when he worked in the private sector. Since he works in the public sector, specifically of 2012, the first year when he declared for the authority of integrity that money kept in banks, the dignitary ‘s savings grew up. Nearly double. From 67 800 euro, in 2012, to 112 700 – in 2017. Leanca lives in a stately home in Ialoveni and claims that it was donated by his father. Behind the house he made a pool.
An explanation for what, in Leanca’s opinion means do not lie, but go around some things, we find in the same TV show. The moment when instead to answer a specific question about the ability to dodge responsibility in any situation, Leanca deflected on the subject of European Integration.
Even the foreign press noted discrepancies between leanca’s statements and actions. In an interview offered by the ex-premier for the show Hard Talk from BBC, the journalist Stephen Sackur reproached him that he says one thing but does another.
A proof of masking the truth on his sole discretion was when he declared he signed the decision to remove from the reserves of National Bank 9.5 billion MDL to compensate the theft of three banks “only after consultation / recommendation of international financial institutions: the World Bank and International Monetary Fund”. Both institutions have denied Leanca’s declaractions and indicated that they were not consulted, that they did not make such recommendations and that only after the entry into force of that Government decision, at that time in secret, learned about its existence. Even in this situation Leanca has not been admitted he lied. Instead, he accused the international institutions that they would be left engaged in local political games.
In an edition of the TV show “Shadow Cabinet” from Jurnal TV, in February 2015, Iurie Leanca expressed his regrets about the way the government managed the files of Banca de Economii and Airport. Asked why despite his statements about the need to punish thieves from BEM, investigations on bank fraud runs awry, the ex-minister claimed that the position of Prime Minister he held would not be decisive. The qualifier of “simple Prime Minister” was assigned to him as a second name.
We specify that for the bank fraud produced in the Republic of Moldova over several years, up to November 2014, citizens would pay 25 billion MDL. Authorities decided that for the billions of dollars stolen from Banca de Economii, Banca Sociala and Unibank must pay each of us. Kroll Agency, hired to investigate the scheme that was stolen money, where did it arrived and how to recover it, established that Ilan Shor, who, at the final stage, controlled all three institutions, played a decisive role. It is no a novelty that without the direct contribution of policy makers in Chisinau, bank fraud would not have been possible and that the same influential persons give protection to Shor, who is not than the creator of their schemes. The ex-Minister of Finance, Veaceslav Negruta, has provided consistent evidences in this regard, who, before the Government gave the majority stake in BEM, informed top management about fraud being prepared. But the ex-deputy chief of Service for Preventing and Combating Money Laundering of the CNA, Mihail Gofman, which stated that the representatives of State manipulated things so that theft cannot be prevented by state instruments.
According to people inside the system, the investigators had all the information needed to indict the main actors and beneficiaries even before Kroll experts come to Chisinau. As long as state authorities will continue to control the justice, the black and white evidences will be qualified “lies” and lies - "diplomacy". The thefts will be owned by the State, the damage will be put on the shoulders of citizens, and the prisons groaning with scapegoats. Currently, Iurie Leanca forms a government coalition with the Democratic Party of Vladimir Plahotniuc and expresses his trust that this situation could continue after next year elections.