A money-laundering scandal is casting Moldova’s judiciary in an unfavorable light and is raising concerns about the government’s commitment to reforms needed to keep European Union integration on track.
The money-laundering scandal broke back in August, when a non-profit investigative news organization, the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project, published a story detailing how Russian criminal organizations and politicians used Moldovan banks between 2010 and 2014 to launder roughly $20 billion. Moldova was only a weigh-station for the illicit Russian funds, the final destination of which was primarily Latvia.
To give the scam the appearance of legality, “over 20” Moldovan judges allegedly issued more than 50 court orders for loan guarantors to pay off a string of fictitious bad debts. The cash was funneled from the privately owned Moldinconbank to Latvia’s Trasta Komercbanka, in the European Union.
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Victoria Puiu is a journalist who writes for the weekly newspaper Timpul (Times) in Chișinău, Moldova.