„November 14, 2014. Moscow City Center, Russian Federation. A good looking man, with a bodyguard silhouette, sends a person, shorter, four huge bags. There was $17.5 million in the bag. It was only a part of 30 million of the cost of the majority package BC Victoriabank SA. The one who received the money bags was Veaceslav Platon … „
Considering dozens of sources and hundreds of archive pages, opening thousands of bank documents, drained from our sources in Chisinau, Moscow and Kiev, we will put together for the first time, the events behind us to get the clear picture of scheme, with clear evidence and connections.
We will also make a detailed exposition of all the Billard theft authors, with an indication of each person’s share, with exact amounts, in the committing of the Robbery of the Century.
This is how we aim to deal with what has puzzled the special services in Moscow, to gather for the first time, from the puzzle elements we have at our disposal, the general picture of the attack on the financial-banking system of Moldova, to discover the links of this attack with the politics from Moscow and Chisinau.
We will prove that Russian Laundry and Billiard Theft in the Moldovan financial-banking system are in fact two elements of the same coordinated operation in Moscow, based on the same financial engineering, the money laundry scheme implemented by the Russian secret services through Veaceslav Platon, operating two financial-banking laundries in Chisinau, coordinated from the same command center.
In this investigation, we are going to uncover the Russian Money Laundering scheme in Moldova, to understand the aims pursued by those who elaborated it, administer probation, dozens of documents signed by Veaceslav Platon, electronic letters and extracts from hundreds of bank documents have come to our disposal.
We will analyze together the operation of Veaceslav Platon, as coordinated by the Russian special services and covered by leader PLDM Vlad Filat and how he was recruited together with Ilan Shor in the scheme but also how Banca de Economii was chosen as the main target of the attack.
We will see together how the greed of some politicians in Chisinau left them draw into a sensationally dangerous game, with the fate of the country they led. The entire operation was coordinated by the FSB and was done for the country’s bankruptcy before the 2014 parliamentary elections.
Consequently, we have to understand why the operation of the Russian special services escalated into the largest diplomatic conflict in the history of relations between the Republic of Moldova and the Russian Federation and how the Moscow services are now desperately trying to erase the traces of the operation and influence international investigations, the Kroll survey.
The investigation of this international company, contracted by the National Bank of Moldova to clarify things and help recover stolen money, brought nothing new and limited, after years of waiting, to a mere exposure of events and companies involved episodically in the money circuit, largely already known in the public space, but without deciphering the scheme and the important actors that coordinated the attack on the Moldovan financial-banking system.
Who was Kroll afraid of? Why did Kroll just imitate an investigation? Why he chose to confine himself to putting a bunch of companies and people out of business but without deepening the schema and presenting real evidence, trying to induce even more confusion in the subject of fraud and not assume no responsibility? Why did Kroll arrange some raids, but, worse, some prime ministers from Chisinau? Why was Kroll afraid to say what he discovered from the very first steps of the investigation, evidence that undoubtedly indicates that the billionaire’s theft is nothing more than a continuation of the Russian Laundromat? Why was Kroll afraid to say things by name? Why did Kroll fear the Russians after initially publishing a few elements, a few shy steps towards the Truth, presenting the same companies involved in both the billionaire theft and the Russian laundering? We will present links and evidence in our investigation that will also provide answers to these questions.
November 14, 2014. Moscow City Center, Russian Federation. A good looking man, with a bodyguard silhouette, gave a person, shorter, four huge bags. There was $17.5 million in the bag. It was only a part of 30 million of the cost of the majority package BC Victoriabank SA. The one who received the money bags was Veaceslav Platon, a Russian citizen who also holds the citizenship of Ukraine and the Republic of Moldova, a FSB agent nicknamed by the Russian press as Raider No. 1 in the CIS.
The other one hour ago met with his boss, the Russian citizen Serguey Lobanov, from whom he took the bags with money. Lobanov is the son-in-law of Andrei Belianinov, head of Russian Federal Customs Service, close to Vladimir Putin, a former Soviet intelligence service KGB (FSB predecessor) in the German Democratic Republic, where he was a colleague with the Russian president.
Just one day before, on November 13, 2014, Lobanov-controlled offshore Insidown Ltd in Cyprus transferred another 12.5 million dollars to the accounts of the incumbent shareholders of Veaceslav Platon from the Moldovan bank BC Victoriabank SA. The money sent by Lobanov to Plato was the price of the majority stake of 38% of the shares of the bank traded through the Stock Exchange of Moldova on the basis of a brokerage agreement concluded by Serguey Lobanov with BC Moldova Agroindbank SA, another Moldovan bank under the control of Plato. The transaction was arranged in Chisinau by the employees of Platon Stela Pahomi and Aliona Staşevskaia (note this name), Ilan Shor, Moldovan oligarch, president of the largest bank in Moldova, Banca de Economii SA (BEM), placed by FSB in the entourage of Vlad Filat, the head of the Liberal Democratic Party of Moldova, a ruling party in Chisinau.
Shortly before, in April 2014, BEM, the former bank under the control of the Moldovan state, was brought under the control of Moscow’s VneshEkonombank (VEB), a state-owned Russian corporation with development bank functions headed by the prime minister Russian Dmitry Medvedev.
VneshEkonomBank took over BEM shares through its affiliated VEB Capital. Below we will see how VEB Solutions Limited, another member of the VEB Group, more than 6 months, in November 2014, would be directly involved in the theft of money from the financial and banking system of the Republic of Moldova through a thoughtful financial engineering applied by Veaceslav Platon and his close Aleksei Sobolev, the lawyer of the VEB Group in Moscow. It happened after August 29, 2013, following an additional issue of shares, the government of Chişinău gave Shor’s bank, which had bought from Veaceslav Platon the shares of BEM, paying 19.5 million USD.
The millions of dollars bags stacked between two FSB agents, in the middle of Moscow, at 1317 km from Chisinau, for shares of Moldovan banks, marks the operation that was to enter the history of financial engineering under the name of the Russian Laundromat, where only four years between 2010 and 2014, Veaceslav Platon has washed from Moscow through Moldova, Ukraine, Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan no less than 70 billion dollars, a gigantic laundering under the control of the Russian special services, which has dried up the banking system of the Republic of Moldova and brought it to bankruptcy following the disaster that would be called The Robbery of the Century.
The skill with which the operation has been elaborated and perfected in Lubyanka’s offices, where all attempts to investigate financial engineering are now brutally discouraged, but also the close connections of the scheme to the interests of the Kremlin, reflected in the battles of the last few years in the Astana, Bishkek, Chişinău or Kiev political rings, sometimes transposed on battlefields, with tanks, shooting and explosions, or toxic gas attacks in the suburbs of London, made neither the authorities nor the press has succeeded so far to have a complex analysis of the financial scheme, tackling it episodically, thus losing its complex image by addressing the Russian Laundromat separately and the Century Robbery, also known as Billard Theft.
They are in fact two elements of the same operation, having the same protagonists and instruments, from the giant laundering started in the center of Moscow and rotated in Chisinau banks, taken over by raider attacks and transformed into money laundering machines, and by removing money from their centrifuges from the banking system.
It all began in the autumn of 2009, when in Russia there were all the mega-projects for the preparation of the Sochi-2012 Olympics, projects from which billions of dollars were washed by businessmen close to the Kremlin, who shared generously with special service protectors, police or corrupt officials in Moscow. Billions of dirty dollars were gathered from the corruption schemes of the Russian customs, but also in the Moscow cashier of the „Solntsevskaya Bratva” the shady syndicate racks or other subdivisions of the Russian Mafia. The Russian Railways (RJD) of the clan Vladimir Yakunin, the close and former colleague of Vladimir Putin in the KGB, was also full. The former Soviet spy resident in the US and his entourage pumped in their private pockets billions of dollars from RJD.
The classic money-laundering scheme applied by Russian businessmen and bankers over the past few years for transfers made abroad for fictitious imports has begun to become more and more expensive because they are increasingly coming to the attention of the Russian Central Bank and customs officers and Russian police officers, demanding higher commissions from businessmen. That’s what made the owners of dirty money in Moscow look for other laundries that would take their cash or money illegally into accounts, in London, or in any financial paradise, away from Russian tax officials or Putin’s accountants.
And the solution came. Just in the Republic of Moldova, in Chisinau. Where FSB agent and co-raiser Veaceslav Platon, referred to above, became a new deputy in parliament, a chair for which he paid a million dollars to the president of the Alianța Moldova Noastră (Our Moldova Alliance), Serafim Urechean, an outcast with which he himself praised the press. „A Moldovan judge costs cheaper than a Russian tax collector,” he explained to Roman Anin, the Russian journalist from Novaya Gazeta, who was the first to reveal the change of the money laundering method, a Moscow-based businessman with experience in the field globally and released in the press on August 22, 2014, the washing of 21 billion dollars through the Russian laundry after being alerted by his colleagues in Chisinau from the OCCRP international network. They found out that Moldovan prosecutors filed a criminal case file in February 2014 on the fact that money was being dumped from Russia through Moldova.
A country that had a GDP of less than $ 5 billion in 2009 and a state apparatus, judiciary system and political class very exposed to cheap corruption, fell flatly to Plato, who had the huge dirty financial resources in Moscow, but also contacting FSB’s network of agents. At that time Platon was already well-known in public space through raider attacks he operated in Ukraine and the Republic of Moldova. The Chisinau Prosecutor’s Office repeatedly filed criminal cases in 2000, but he managed to flee, hiding in the neighboring country in Kiev, where he was protected by friendly relations with the son of former President Viktor Yanukovych buying his freedom by bribing the influential people in the entourage of President Vladimir Voronin.
At the same time, the permanent problems with the law made him „buy” magistrates in various Moldovan courts and maintain a whole array of judges and bailiffs, who granted him protection as needed but also used in the attacks raider he operated at the businesses he was eyeing. At one point, Veaceslav Platon was subordinated to the whole system of Moldovan economic judges, led by his close Aurel Colenco, chairman of the Chisinau Economic Court of Appeals.
On July 22, 2011, the Moldovan economic courts were liquidated because of the abuses admitted by them. It was through this scheme that Plato had taken over and subsequently bankrupted SA MoldCarton and virtually the entire Moldovan sugar industry.
Beyond the interest in financial and banking engineering, Veaceslav Platon was passionate about black smuggling and „sour” meat and fish, a business for which during the communist rule heavy struggles were struck between businessmen in Voronin’s entourage. Through his close friend Nicolai Curtoglo (note this name!), both of whom originate from Căuşeni, a settlement located on the border of the Republic of Moldova with Ukraine, near the Transnistrian area, Platon arranged smuggling flows of meat and fish through the Moldovan-Ukrainian border, including on the Transnistrian perimeter, which brought millions of dollars a month. The contacts at the FSB in Moscow ensured the protection of smuggling schemes by the Tiraspol separatist regime and the „Transnistrian customs” controlled by Russia.
It is worth mentioning that Mr. Curtoglo (pictured below) is none other than the husband of Olgăi Bondarciuc, the notary that Platon desperately tried for us to make sure it does not bind him, trying to assign it to Plahotniuc’s friends list. The picture below demonstrates the opposite, namely that Plato was tied up with a sweethearted friendship with the Curtoglo-Bondarciuc family.
Through Curtoglo, Platon controlled an entire holding of companies specializing in the illegal import of meat and fish, the Ungheni Meat Combine, a share of 1/3 of Carne-Sud SRL in Taraclia, and Neghina Com SRL and Stealz SRL (note the names of these companies!) From Chisinau, both located on the same address, Valea Bîcului 5/1, the headquarters of the former enterprise MoldResurse. The enterprises in Chisinau were run by Lilia Neghina and Tudor Vrabie respectively, but both had the same accountant, Lucia Lupusor, close to Plato.By the same interpolation, Curtoglo, Veaceslav Platon had privatized in 2006 the Național hotel in the center of Chisinau, which has been ruined until now.
Tired of paying Voronin for freedom every time, Platon bought it in 2009 as a deputy, thus assuring parliamentary immunity. He even admits to Natalia Morari on the show. At that time, he already owned Chisinau’s MoldIndConBank, controlled by interference, since 1994. With deputy immunity, with a pile of controlled Moldovan judges, with a bank available in Chisinau and with FSB protection, Veaceslav Plato became the perfect man for the Moscow barons who can wash and legalize the stolen dollars.
Platon’s deputy function assured the Russian Laundromat and the necessary political cover, Moldova being governed by a fragile alliance in which the first violin was the PLDM led by Vlad Filat, which Platon had known very well since 1998. At the time, the former headed the privatization department in the Sturza government, and the main activity of the second was the takeover of the state and the bankruptcy of the latter. The ruling alliance was built on permanent trade fairs of interests, functions, and influence traffic, which were precisely Plato’s raider occupations. It was covered by the faction of the Our Moldova Alliance, which became part of the governing alliance and bought a deputy seat.
Buying still during the Communist government the protection of the Deputy Chief of the CCECC Prevention and Washing Service, later CNA, Mihail Gofman, to whom he paid monthly salary under the table, Plato hoped that the Russian Laundry would be covered by him so that the scheme not observed by other institutions, being kept secret. Everything went as the turn to the first operations, which was a scrubbing of relatively small sums of money, later complicating later, when Veaceslav Platon’s cravings, as well as Moscow beneficiaries, began to grow.
Veaceslav Platon’s scheme, which was twice as cheap as previously applied in Moscow, cost the Russian recipients between 2 and 4% of the washed sum and was simple but covered by hundreds of papers and designed so that each component would have exercised his functions without seeing the actions of the other.
It involved the jurisdictions of four states, the Russian Federation, the Republic of Moldova, Latvia and the state in which they wanted to wash their money from the beneficiary in Moscow, usually tax havens or states of greatest attraction in the West, from Great Britain and France or Italy and to the US. It all began with a hundred million dollar loan contract, at first glance, between two companies, the UK’s most frequent residents. Why Britain? Again, simple. Because London is the preferred destination of Moscow oligarchs and corrupts. There they buy real estate, where they spend their weekends, and the Russians who are rich in shopping trips. Street Bishops Avenue, named in London and the Billionaires River, is populated with luxury houses of oligarchs from Russia and the CIS.
See Anin’s schema describing the Russian Laundromat:
The contract between the two British companies was actually a fictitious one. They were newly registered, did not own assets, and did not carry out any activity. As sponsors, which guaranteed the restitution of the loan, there were companies from Russia, which also represented „ghost enterprises”, recently registered Moldovan citizens, usually socially vulnerable. Namely these poor Moldovans, who were usually paid with 100-300 dollars, or no idea did not have their contracts signed with the sums of 8 zeros in London, being deceived, ensuring involvement in the scheme of the jurisdiction of the Republic of Moldova, so that the Moldovan judges, subordinate to Plato, can be used.
Thus, the inhabitant of the Râșcani sector in Chisinau, Andrei Abranov, born in 1983, was recruited in the scheme in 2010 by Plato’s employee Oleg Cervatiuc, the nephew of Aliona Stavesevskaya (the one mentioned above), whom he had known since childhood. The latter told him that he had been asked to work to collect signatures for collective action in court. Cervatiuc also told him that he also signed the request for a lawsuit and asked Abranov to sign it, assuring him that he was not risking anything. He signed the document, which was an action to be filed with the Râşcani District Court in Chisinau. Within a few months, Abranov was called by Cervatiuc, who invited him to a meeting, during which he gave him $ 100 and told him that „they won the judgment,” while demanding a copy of Abranov’s passport „for formalities.” Cervatiuc took Abranov’s passport, which he returned the next day. As a result, there was a miraculous court order, in which Abranov, as a fiddler, guarantees a refund of 180 million dollars. all here.
Veaceslav Bass, born in 1983, was recruited in September 2011 by the same Oleg Cervatiuc. The two of them have also grown together. The latter proposed Bass to earn some money. All he had to do was sign some papers, which he would get $ 300. Bass accepted. Shortly after he came home, two people sent by Cervatiuc and Veaceslav Bass signed some printed documents without even reading them, thinking about the money he was about to receive. Within a few days he met with Cervatiuc, who handed him $300 and explained that everything was legal, the act he signed would help to recover a debt from one firm to another, and Bass has no obligation and does not risk anything . At the same time, Cervatiuc told him that later on he would be able to make more money if he liked, according to the same scheme. Bass left for half a year in Canada, returned to the spring of 2013 and needed money to leave again, called Oleg Cervatiuc. He invited him to meet in the center of Chisinau, where he asked him to sign a blanket of paper. Trusted by Cervatiuc, with whom he had grown together, Bass signed the papers, again receiving $300, then went to Canada. After that, there is another ordinance in which he writes that the poor Bass must return the astronomical sum of $400 million. All here.
Later, Bass received a letter from a bailiff, Svetlana Mocan, who invited him to his office, which he informed Cervatiuc. The latter told him not to worry, and he would arrange for Bass not to go to the bailiff, which confirms that the actions of the bailiffs were coordinated by Veaceslav Platon and his men.
Dumitru Vartic, born in 1984, is Oleg Cervatiuc’s third neighbor and third victim, respectively. In 2011 Cervatiuc proposed to the first to win some money. Vartic was only supposed to give him his passport, he would make a copy, and „if the passport is right,” he would pay them without explaining why the passport was going to fit. Vartic fell into Cervatiuc’s net and gave him his passport. The next day he rescued him and told him his passport did not match and he would not pay them. In Vartic’s case, his childhood boyfriend was even more cynical than in the first two cases, he used his identity in the scheme and falsified his signature, without giving him a penny, about what he would find just over three years in February 2014, when all three of Cerevatiuc’s neighbors were quoted by Moldovan prosecutors. The victim was surprised at Vartic when he found out that he had jointly filed $ 200 million with Seabon LTD. all here.
It was only then that the three found out that they had signed hundreds of millions of dollars in behalf of Seabon Limited and PR-Vert System Ltd, controlled by Veaceslav Platon. This can be easily demonstrated by analyzing the contracts below, where we see how Seabon LTD sells medical equipment to ÎCS Infoart International SRL with $ 6.3 million. all here.
Perhaps there would be nothing suspicious up here if we could not find the Platon’s signature contract, through which CIS Raider No. 1 guaranteed repayment of the USD 6 million credit of ICS Infoart International SRL from Victoriabank in December 2011. All here.
Being called by the three after being summoned by prosecutors, Cervatiuc told them not to worry, that most likely it was a mistake and that he would give them a lawyer to help them. As a miracle, Cervatiuc gave Veaceslav Bass the phone number of Andrei Beruceşvili, one of Platon’s court attorneys. At the same time, Cervatiuc suggested Bass tell the prosecutors a legend, according to which he signed the documents, being asked by someone with whom he met abroad, but also to confirm only two signatures, and the rest to say, that he does not recognize them, or does not remember exactly if he signed or not.
Delusive Moldavian fiddlers made an important part of Plato’s scheme. Later, at one point, the British company appealed to the Moldovan court against a fiduciary, a Moldovan citizen and a Russian company. Their representatives recognized court duty on the basis of the fictitious contract, and the judges quickly issued decisions to collect the debt from the Moscow company. Enforceable titles were sent only to Veaceslav Platon’s court executors, as evidenced by the accounts they were opening, only in his MoldIndConBank. Exactly in the same bank, as miraculously, they opened their accounts and Russian debtor businesses.
On the basis of the enforceable titles issued, the Russian companies immediately transferred billions of Russian rubles to the accounts of the bailiffs of MoldIndConBank, which in the same or at the latest day were converted into dollars or euros and transferred to the accounts of British enterprises opened by Platon banks in Latvia, Trasta KomercBanka and AS PrivatBank in Riga. It is precisely through these two Latvian banks that the billions of dollars from Russia were washed through the Laundromat and precisely through them, through the same bank accounts opened in Latvia, money stolen from the banking system was removed from Moldova. It is an important moment to keep in mind, demonstrating the close link between the Russian Laundromat and the „Century Robbery” or „The Billard Theft,” as it is one and the same scheme, a huge „Platonomat”.
By the Russian laundry of Veaceslav Platon, over 700 billion rubles were washed through Moldova alone, ie 22,013,152,564.62 US dollars, by 100 Russian enterprises, through 19 banks, all transferring money to MoldIndConBank from Chisinau. Most money in Plato’s bank was transferred by Russkii Zemelinyi Bank (RZB), which in just two years, between 2012 and 2014, washed over 152 billion Russian rubles (about 5 billion dollars). Note that in 2012 RZB was taken over from Elena Baturina, wife of former Moscow mayor Yuri Luzhkov, by Aleksandr Grigoriev, a banker (former) employee of the FSB, born in St. Petersburg, close to Igor Putin, no one else than Putin’s cousin. Grigoriev was the chairman of the bank, and the cousin of the Russian president was a member of the board of directors. Symptomatically, the FSB bank in Moscow shrugged Plato’s bank in Chisinau. And not just for Laundromat. RZB has concluded with MoldIndConBank and a general agreement for the interbank exchange of the currency.
On 20 March 2017, Roman Anin of Novaya Gazeta, together with Reuters journalists, managed to identify the most popular information known as Panama Papers from the databases of the legal company Mossack Fonseca, the great beneficiary known to date of Plato’s Russian Laundromat. He is none other than Aleksei Krapivin, the son of Andrei Krapivin, the former chief of the Russian Railways, Vladimir Yakunin, mentioned above. Andrei Krapivin, also an exponent of the FSB, was one of the curators of Renato Usatii, also sent from Moscow, from Lubyanka, to a diversionary mission in Moldova. Thus, between 2011 and 2014, Redstone Financial Ltd in Belize and Telford Trading SA in Panama have received $277 million in accounts from the Swiss bank Compagnie Bancaire Helvetique SA (CBH). According to Panama Papers data, the only beneficiary of these two companies is Aleksei Krapivin, the son of Yakunin’s adviser. Note that Vladimir Yakunin appears in the US Senate Report of January 2018, previously analyzed as an agent of Russia in the war launched against Europe and the US. Yakunin funded Russia’s NGO’s Dialogue of Civilizations in Berlin, considered an anti-American, anti-NATO and eurosceptic think tank in Germany, an instrument through which Moscow has also been involved in electoral campaigns in Europe. Thus, Plato’s Laundromat was a perfect mechanism for special Moscow services to fund diversionary projects in the West, including the scandalous funding of Syrian refugees in Europe.
According to those investigated by the journalists of the RISE Moldova project, members of the OCCRP network, which analyzed the Russian General Assembly on a global level, Judge Valeriu Gâscă from the Râşcani District Court in Chisinau, where the actions signed by the neighbors of Oleg Cerevatiuc were filed, issued the ordinance court order to receive a $400 million Russian company for the benefit of Valemont Properties Ltd (do not forget the name of this company!), represented by an interrogated person, a resident of Ukraine. The money was transferred from Moscow to the account opened in MoldIndConBank by bailiff Svetlana Mocan, mentioned above, exactly the one who sent letters to Veaceslav Bass. Svetlana Mocan transferred the money in several installments on Valemont Properties Ltd accounts, as well opened in MoldIndConBank. all here.
One of the $ 5,928,225 tranches was transferred on September 7, 2012. On the same day, Valemont Properties Ltd transferred € 250,980 to a German company paying for two Bentley Continental GT V8 luxury cars. A car was imported into the Republic of Moldova, being registered under the name of Elaine Cobaleva, the former wife of Veaceslav Platon, established in Moscow, and another – of the citizen Vitalie Mihailov, from Căuşeni, Plato’s employee. Look at the RISE investigation.
Just one month, on October 8, 2012, the same Valemont Properties Ltd transfers 227,521 lei to the travel agency AIA Travel SRL, paying for a tourist voucher, the beneficiaries of which are Veaceslav Platon and Yevguenia Tulchevska – Platon’s wife, and Nicolae Curtoglo with his wife Olga Bondarciuc.
* picture taken on October 14, 2012
In 2011, Platon was laundering for a year at top speed. Using MoldIndConBank, billions of USD were stolen from Moscow. Still, the dozens of billions of USD from Moscow were too much for Chisinau’s MoldIndConBank and Platon decided to create new ways to launder money, causing the capacity of laundromat to increase. Commissions were already cashed in for the billions taken from Moscow, laundered during 2010-2011, allowing new acquisitions.
Platon was acting on the order of his FSB patrons in the raid attacks upon Universalbank, that belonged to Russian businessman Gherman Gorbuntov, which was used by Yakunin group of the Russian Railways (RJD), for whom Platon was laundering the money, represented by chief counselor RJD Andrei Krapivin (Aleksei Krapivin’s father, whose name appears in the laundromat) and his deputies Boris Usherovici, Valeri Markelov and Serguey Mendeleev, begun adjusting accounts, trying to recover from the man known in Moscow as the Black Banker an alleged debt. Using a scheme identical to the one used in the laundromat, with the help of subordinate Moldovan judges, Platon took away Gorbuntov’s bank from Chisinau in 2011. Using Gorbuntov’s name, 3 fictitious loans were signed dating back to 2008, worth 5.2 billion USD, with 3 companies from Russia. In 2012, those 3 Russian companies yield the right to collect the debt of an LLC, OOO „KUM”, which in its turn yielded its claim over an offshore company, based in Panama, „Komer Food”, represented by Renato Usatii, another pawn of FSB in Chisinau. On 3rd March 2011, said company sought to recover the alleged debt through a court from Chisinau, which issued the next day, on 4th March 2011, a warrant for collecting the debt from Gorbuntov.
On 5th August 2011, Platon’s subordinate signed an agreement with broker „Fincom”, also with accounts in „MoldIndConBank”, which in its turn signed the sale-purchase contract, for 24 million lei, acquiring 78% of the shares of „Universalbank”, with the offshore company „MEP Group”, registered in Seychelles islands, represented by Renato Usatii. After completing the transaction on 12th August 2011, Renato Usatîi flew by plane from Moscow to Chisinau, where he met with Platon’s close associate, vice-president of „MoldIndConBank” Iuri Nedoseikin, who handed him the „keys” to „Universalbank” taken from Gherman Gorbunțov, as representative of the Yakunin group at RJD – FSB.
Platon’s next move was against „Moldova Agroindank”, where the same scheme and actors were applied. The same broker, „Fincom”, with accounts in „MoldIndConBank”, the same offshore and the same country, Russia, in which “Moldova Agroindbank” shareholders had alleged debts. The attack upon shareholders begun through a decision from 28th December 2010 of Ad Hoc Arbitration in Saint Petersburg, that was implemented in Republic of Moldova through a decision taken by Căușeni Court of Appeal in August 2011, Platon’s hometown, causing 27.5% of shares of “Moldova Agroindbank” to now belong to offshore „Merchant Outpost Company”.
Veaceslav Platon did not stop. After the attacks upon „Universalbank” and “Moldova Agroindbank”, he negotiated with Vlad Plahotniuc the purchase of 38.2% of shares of “Victoriabank” and 84% of “Victoria Asigurări”. Later he also took over 38% of shares of “Banca de Economii”. Therefore, Platon aims to offer FSB control over Republic of Moldova’s financial system.
”Victoriabank” and “Banca de Economii” were supposed to become new devices in money laundering, used by Platon to launder billions, along with “MoldIndConBank” and the other banks he had taken over. In November 2011, Platon bought from Plahotniuc most of the shares of ”Victoriabank” and registers it in the name of a close associate, Iuri Kontievski. On his name were also registered 4.43% of shares of “MoldIndConBank”. Later, Platon trades fictitious 3 times shares of ”Victoriabank”, company controlled by Platon Generashon Financial BV, registered in Netherlands and administrated by Russian citizen Aleksandr Korkin. In November 2013, Generashon Financial BV fictitiously sells its shares, in packages to 5%, to a few small shareholders, without needing NBM’s agreement with the regulations. Veaceslav Platon actually owned through his subordinates the control over ”Victoriabank” over 2011-2014.
Immediately after “Victoriabank” was controlled by Platon, between 1st and 7th December 2011, the bank offered loans worth 40 million USD to companies “Semgroup System SRL, “Cristal Impex” SRL, “Infoart International” SRL, “Bogdan and Co” SRL and “Neghina Com” SRL, all controlled by Veaceslav Platon.
Respectively, from 6th December 2011, the “Victoriabank” controlled by Platon offered 11.7 million USD as loan to “Neghina Com” SR, mentioned above, also controlled by Platon, which he used to smuggle meat and fish using Nicolae Curtoglo. Later, “Neghina Com” SRL transferred the money to “Augela Systems LP”, registered in Great Britain, within accounts in Trasta Komercbanka from Latvia, under the pretext of „payment for equipment”. To guarantee the loan repayment, „Neghina Com” SRL pledged multiple shares of „MoldIndConBank”, controlled by Veaceslav Platon, through his associates.
On 1st December 2011, “Victoriabank” gave a 6.3 million USD loan to “Infoart International” SRL, which in its turn transferred the money to „Seabon Limited”, a company where only a month beforehand Veaceslav Bass signed fictive documents, at the suggestion of Platon’s employee, Oleg Cerevatiuc, through which hundreds of millions of USD were laundered. Therefore, money credited from „Victoriabank” to „Infoart International” SRL ended up in the same accounts in „Trasta Komercbanka” of „Seabon Limited”, which was also used to launder millions of USD from Moscow.
On 6th December 2011, “Victoriabank” gave another 2 credits worth 11.5 million USD to „Cristal Impex”, that also transferred them on the „Trasta Komercbanka” accounts, of the company registered in the United Kingdom, „Westburn Enterprises Ltd” and 10.5 million USD to „Bogdan and Co”, that transferred them on the „Trasta Komercbanka” accounts of offshore „Chester NZ Ltd”, registered in New Zealand. „MoldIndConBank” shares were also used as guarantee in the first loan.
On 7th December 2011 “Victoriabank” gave another loan, of 123.9 million lei, to „Semgroup Systems”, that then converted the money to USD and transferred 7.016 million USD to the same „Trasta Komercbanka” accounts of a company registered in Great Britain, „Caldon Holdings Ltd”. The credit was secured by a 10.2 million USD deposit held by „Semgroup Systems” in Platon’s „MoldIndConBank”, as well as two real estates from Moscow, owned by two Russian companies.
Through all those credits, Platon took out from Republic of Moldova, through „Victoriabank”, the first 40 million USD and laundered them on the „Trasta Komercbanka” accounts, that were also used to launder billions from Moldova. Therefore, Platon the first part of the scheme, through which the banking system begun loosing its „Stolen billion”.
All of the above mentioned companies, that were used to launder money both from Russian laundromat, as well as the “Victoriabank” loans between 1 – 7 December 2011, were managed by the same group of people, who managed from distance the accounts using the same IP address, the group’s beneficiary being none other than Veaceslav Platon.
Following, after the money laundering from “MoldIndConBank” and “Victoriabank” begun in 2010-2011, Platon turned his attention of “Banca de Economii”, the biggest bank of Moldova and also the single one fully controlled by the state. The bank that would further become the main target of Platon and FSB.
Being under the control of the Government from Chisinau, Banca de Economii already had multiple non-performing loans, issued starting 1998. All politicians who led since then Republic of Moldova, all those who led the Government from Chisinau, took advantage of the control over Banca de Economii, having taken loans that were never returned. Still, those credits did not amount even close to the sums taken by Veaceslav Platon, therefor not causing instability in the bank. As any bank, Banca de Economii had a risk fund, while non-performing loans taken under the Government’s protection were included in this fund and then closed.
Everyone has taken bit of money from Banca de Economii, starting from former former chairman of the board of directors Viorel Topa, who according to a report of the Court of Accounts from 26th June 2002, has taken out between 19-31 August 2001 66.8 million lei, through the offshore company “Sparks Management Corporation”, and to the husband of former Prime Minister Zinaida Greceanîi, member of the board of directors of Cojusna Wine Factory Alexei Greceanii, who took a loan in 2008 from Banca de Economii worth 1.63 million Euro and 500 000 USD, which were never returned.
The biggest blow came to Banca de Economii in 2009, after „InvestPrivatBank”, whose deputy chairman of the management board was Veaceslav Platon, was taken over by the end of 2008, through additional issue of shares purchased through the off-shore company „Tabor Projects Ltd” by Bucharest mogul Sorin Ovidiu Vantu. In only a few months the non-performing loans offered by „InvestPrivatBank” amounted over 500 million lei, causing the bank to bankrupt, while in June 2009, NBM has withdrawn its license. The Communist Government decided for the bank to be taken over by the state bank, „Banca de Econmii”, causing it to also gain all debts of „InvestPrivatBank”.
Laundromat. Moldovan Milliardomat.
Harsh times begun for „Banca de Economii” only after 2009, when communists were taken down from the Government of Republic of Moldova by the „Alliance for European Integration” led by Prime Minister Vlad Filat, deputy Veaceslav Platon also being part of it. Platon led the first blow to Banca de Economii between 2010-2011, when he sold non-performing loans taken from his bank “MoldIndConBank” by company also controlled by him, „MoldCarton”, „Fabrica de Carne din Ungheni” etc. to “Banca de Economii”. Therefore, Platon got rid of his bank’s loans, those having been thrown to Banca de Economii.
The thefts from Banca de Economii became bigger, using companies of Piotr Tomailî and Valentin Bodiștean, associates of Vlad Filat, non-performing loans were taken from Banca de Economii worth hundreds of millions of lei. Companies such as “Aroma” or „Moldresurse” have taken from the state’s bank loans worth hundreds of millions lei, having no intention of ever returning them. The credits were most the times taken through interleaved companies, while properties that did not amounted to at least 10% of the loan were pledged, their market value being exaggerated. The loans were offered through the decision of the bank’s chairman, Grigore Gacikevici, at the personal intervention of Vlad Filat. The price, or better said the rebate of such credit being 30% of its value. After the loan was signed, Grigore Gacikevici would receive 10%, while Vlad Filat – 20%.
It lasted to 2012, when a report of the IMF monitoring mission appeared, rising alarms regarding the situation from Banca de Economii. Still, authorities from Chisinau claimed to have everything under control. Despite the fact that in 2012, Banca de Economii had a hole of 3 billion lei, around 200 million USD. In other words, 20% of the billion was already stolen from Republic of Moldova’s banking system.
The state’s bank system was on the verge of collapse, taking down with it Moldova’s financial system, situation desired by FSB. Russian services sought to destroy the pro-European Government and wreck the agreements signed between Republic of Moldova and Ukraine with EU, negotiations being in their last stages. The collapse of the financial system and disability in the society would cause a massive setback in relations between Moldova and EU, therefore Russian services started preparing the final blow, that would crumble Moldova’s financial system. Another player of FSB then appeared, Ilan Shor, who was support to assist Veaceslav Platon in completely crushing Moldova’s bank system and the whole country along with it.
Unlike raider Veaceslav Platon, in 2012-2013, Ilan Shor was a young entrepreneur, born in Israel, unknown in Republic of Moldova, heir of duty-free shops of his father Miron Shor, that were launched in Chisinau back in 90s under the protection of President Mircea Snegu. The businessman was better known for his wedding from August 2011, when he married renown singer from Moscow Jasmin, relations which caused Shor to enter certain circles from Russia, close to special services.
The duty-free shops brought Ilan Shor closer to Moldova’s borders, patronized by Vlad Filat in the governing alliance in Chisinau. The Moldovan customs have linked the entrepreneur with Moldova’s Prime Minister, but also with influential entourage of the head of the Russian customs, KGB (FSB) General, Andrei Belianinov, previously mentioned, an associate of Vladimir Putin.
General Andrei Belianinov and his son-in-law Serguey Lobanov, owners of a company from Moscow “Arsenal”, a monopolist in the field of guaranteeing customs duties in front of the Russian customs, managed hundreds of millions of USD that came from corrupt scheme at Russian customs, that also needed to be laundered, through a similar plan used by Platon. Therefore, under the protection of President Putin, just like Platon’s money laundering group and gaining through Ilan Shor necessary connections to Moldovan Prime Minister Vlad Filat, Belianinov and Lobanov, along with their FSB group, decided to launch another two money laundering schemes in Chisinau through Ilan Shor, that will be implemented along those of Veaceslav Platon and with his direct involvement and coordination.
Therefore, Russian special services divided the attack upon Moldova’s financial system between Veaceslav Platon and Ilan Shor. The latter acquires in 2012, which money laundered from Moscow, shares of “Unibank” and „Banca Sociala”, the last banks from Chisinau that were not yet touched by Platon. According to Kroll 2, Shor laundered along with Platon 2.9 billion USD.
After Ilan Shor successfully took over the two banks, Veaceslav Platon, who knew of the 200 million USD lack from „Banca de Economii”, created by Gacikevici and Filat, convinced his protectors from Moscow, for the mission tied to „Banca de Economii” to also be given to Shor. At the same time, Platon convinced Filat that “Banca de Economii” must be sold to Ilan Shor, selling with it all of the bank’s problems. The suggestion seemed to inspire Filat, who therefore took care of all legal issues tied to non-performing loans given between 2010-2013.
Vlad Filat invited in summer 2013 Ilan Shor and suggested him to become a shareholder and investor of “Banca de Economii”, knowing of his relations with Moscow. Russian services could not have wished for a better gift, causing them to have full control over the bank system from Moldova. The last bank, the state’s bank did not even required to be attacked for it to be taken over, it was brought to them on a silver plate, by Moldova’s Prime Minister himself. Moreover, as a bonus, to compensate Shor’s investment to cover the 200 million lei hole from „Banca de Economii”, Filat promised him and his „investors” from Moscow Chisinau International Airport.
Therefore, under the watchful eyes of Russian special services, Platon sold to Shor his shares from “Banca de Economii”. Shor transferred to Platon’s company Longford Partners Ltd 19.5 million USD, therefore becoming the bank’s biggest shareholder. To prove to Filat and to the society that he is a potent investor, Shor introduced into the bank 1 billion lei through Roseau Alliance LLP, covering previously issued non-performing loans and therefore cleaning the bank’s record. Still, the money used to purchase the shares of Banca de Economii were returned to Shor not only through his sponsors, but also Unibank. Therefore, Shor stabilized the situation from Banca de Economii, but worsened the one from Unibank.
The situation at Banca de Economii slightly improves, but only 100 million USD were covered, half of the created hole. To assist Ilan Shor, Vlad Filat ordered for all accounts of the state’s institutions to be transferred to Banca de Economii. Here Russian special services managed to put Vlad Filat in a tight spot. They offered to further invest in the bank with the condition that Shor received control over Banca de Economii. To save his image and hide the problems from Banca de Economii, Filat accepted this offer as well. On 29th August 2013, the Government of Chisinau handed over Banca de Economii to Ilan Shor.
As a reward for his loyalty, Shor approved new non-performing loans of dozens of millions of USD from Banca de Economii to Vlad Filat, beneficiaries being companies controlled by the Prime Minister through employees, such as Caravita.
A few months later, in April 2014, Banca de Economii was given by Ilan Shor to VneshEkonomBank from Moscow, Russian state institution, led by Russian Prime Minister. Through this symbolic transaction, Moscow special services have finalized the operation of taking over the whole financial system from Moldova, everything being now prepared for the final blow and collapse.
To this point all of Moscow’s plans went without a hitch, but this was the exact moment when Russian special services encountered problems. On 14th April 2014, General Prosecutor’s Office from Chisinau sent a letter to Russia’s General Prosecutor’s Office regarding the criminal file no. 2014978027, filed on 14th February 2014 based on Article 243 of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Moldova, on money laundering in the Russian Laundromat. Sufficient evidence having been gathered, revealing the whole scheme planned by Veaceslav Platon. All the banks from Moscow and Russian companies involved in money laundering were listed in the rogatory letter.
A bit after the rogatory letter was officially sent to Moscow, Renato Usatîi alerted through email Boris Usherovici, deputy of Andrei Krapivin, councilor Vladimir Yakunin, Aleksei Krapivin’s father, main beneficiaries of the money laundering. Through an email written by Usatîii to Usherovici, leaked to the press soon after hackers broke into Usatîi’s email accounts, he sent to his partner from Moscow copies of the criminal file and of the rogatory letter sent to Moscow by Moldova’s Prosecutor’s Office.
The whole group felt threatened, requesting the intervention of FSB. Still, the procedure could not be stopped, while shortly after, some details from the case were leaked to the press from Chisinau, which alerted the OCCRP, while on 22nd August 2014, Roman Anin from Novaya Gazeta published the first investigation that launched the global investigation. In another email, Usatîi informed FSB of the fact that the OCCRP and Roman Anin are looking into the properties of Vladimir Yakunin and his son-in-law within the money laundering case.
The actions taken by Chisinau have caused immense damage to Russia’s image in the whole world, Russian special services launched a war against Republic of Moldova. Platon and Shor are called back to Moscow, then sent to Chisinau with the mission to finish the mission and completely ruin Republic of Moldova’s financial system, after having complete control over it. The plan though by the secret services and approved by Kremlin aimed to cause chaos before the parliamentary elections from November 2014. While in the background, a war begun in Ukraine and Crimea was annexed by Russia. At the same time, Platon and Shor are tasked to support and finance pro-Russian parties using the laundered money, namely Our Party of Renato Usatîi and Party of Socialists of Igor Dodon, as well as other mission to interfere in Chisinau’s politics.
On 2nd February 2014, the Russian special services organized a referendum in Gagauzia, where was voted the adhesion of the autonomous region of the Republic of Moldova to the Russia-Belarus Union.
At the same time, Veaceslav Platon tried to break the parliamentary majority ruling in Chişinău and therefore take revenge for the filed criminal case, but also to prove to his patrons from the special services in Moscow that he is still useful. On 7th March 2014, Platon, former police officer Vitalie Burlacu, alias Vitas and Irina Baglai, were arrested in Chisinau for bribe attempt, with 250 000 USD each of 10 MPs in the Chisinau parliament. After receiving the money, the deputies would leave their factions and respectively the pro-European parliamentary majority, not to vote on the laws related to the association of the Republic of Moldova with the EU, which were on the agenda of the parliament from Chisinau.
At the same time, Moscow’s special services begun looking into the parliamentary elections that were held in Chisinau in November 2014, which were supposed to secure a parliamentary majority that obeys Kremlin. Moscow sends Veaceslav Platon, who was supposed to take over the Party of Communists, through Mark Tkaciuk, led by Vladimir Voronin, who was in Moscow’s disgrace after the torpedoing of the so-called Kozak Plan of 2003 to federalize the Republic of Moldova.
In a coordinated operation directly from FSB offices on Lubyanka, Platon was supposed to take the funding and control over the Party of Communists of Vladimir Voronin by placing on the PCRM lists for the November 2014 elections 12 deputies appointed and directly controlled by the Russian special services, who were supposed to take over the party’s control after the elections. Platon was ordered to organize a coup in the Party of Communists, essentially a takeover of the Communist Party, the model used by the raider to take over the enterprises they attacked. For each of the 12 deputies accepted on the party’s lists, Voronin was to receive from Platon one million dollars.
The connection between the headquarters of FSB and Veaceslav Platon was carried out through businessman Oleg Boiko, Russian billionaire, president of the Finstar holding, ranked 61st in the list of billionaires Forbes Russia. Negotiations were conducted between Platon and Vladimir Voronin through his councilor Mark Tkaciuk and the deputies of the so-called „Taliban” Communist group, Iuri Muntean and Grigori Petrenko.
Voronin accepted the deal, reaching an agreement, that was supposed to be reinforced during a visit of Oleg Boiko to Chisinau in May 2014. On the PCRM lists in the November 2014 elections, Veaceslav Platon was included in the top of the list , together with his partner Nicolae Curtoglo, businessman Vitalie Cebanu, political scientist Viktor Josu, leader of the „Edinnaia Gagauzia” movement Fiodor Gagauz and the president of the Moldovan diaspora congress in Moscow Aleksandr Kalinin, together with other people controlled by the FSB.
The decisive meeting took place on 21st May 2014, in Chisinau office of businessman Emmanuil Grinspun, through which Platon invested 6.3 million USD in 2013 in the Chisinau shopping center „UNO”, later renamed „Bonus”. In a room form Grinspun’s office, Oleg Boiko, along with the 12 deputies proposed by the Russian special services, they were waiting for Vladimir Voronin and his counselor Mark Tkaciuk.
The Skoda Superb vehicle with Vladimir Voronin parked near Grinspun’s office, but just like in 2003, Voronin changed his mind in the last moment and refused to cooperate. He told Tkaciuk that he has no plans to discuss such serious matters with such serious people, in the presence of Platon’s men and that he backs out of the deal, after which he left. The news annoyed Oleg Boiko, who begun cursing Tkaciuk in Grinspun’s office, accusing him and Platon of the mission’s failure. As a consequence, two days later, on 23rd May 2014 Mark Tkaciuk announced his resignation as member of the Communist party in the parliament, being followed by Iuri Muntean, Grigori Petrenko and Aleksandr Petkov, the latter two having afterward joined Renato Usatîi’s party.
Meanwhile, Veaceslav Platon begun in December 2013 to take loans from MoldIndConBank, identical to the one begun in December 2011 at Victoriabank, the money being transferred to banks from Latvia. Therefore, on 20th December 2013 MoldIndConBank gave two loans, of 25.103.347 lei and 20 million USD to „Univet Invest”, which in its turn converted the money into 4.982.632 USD on the accounts of „Chester NZ Ltd”, registered in New Zealand, on accounts in Trasta Komercbanka from Latvia, same one used to in December 2011.
On 23rd December 2013, MoldIndConBank gave 3 loans of 16.8 million lei, 1.7 million USD and 2.340.800 Euro to „Talnes”, which in its turn transferred 4.830.653 USD on accounts in Trasta Komercbanka, of the company „Augela Systems LP” registered in Great Britain.
On 30th December 2013 MoldIndConBank gave a loan of 45 million lei to „Biro Media”, that then transferred 3.450.920 USD on accounts in Trasta Komercbanka, of the company „Mirabax Investment Ltd”.
On 30th December 2013, „MoldIndConBank” gave 3 loans, amounting to 19.5 million lei, 1.400.900 euros and 1.9 million dollars to „Contrade”, which after the conversion transferred 5,320,402 USD on the accounts of the UK company „Griden Development LP” from Trasta Komercbanka.
On 30th December 2013, „MoldIndConBank” gave a loan of 35 million lei to Molint Grup LLC, which, after conversion, transferred 2,684,049 USD to the UK-based PR-Vert Systems Ltd „Trasta Komercbanka”, for the benefit of which Oleg Cervatiuc’s neighbors signed the documents in the Laundromat.
On 30th April 2014, „MoldIndConBank” gave a loan of 28.9 million lei to Lavima Impex LLC, which converted and transferred 2,142,327 USD using the same scheme to the non-resident company „Draycott Overseas LP” in Trasta Komercbanka „in Latvia.
On 5th June 5 2014, Platon began the second stage of the Loan Scheme that started in December 2011 at Victoriabank and continued in December 2013 – April 2014 at „MoldIndConBank”. At this stage, Platon took money from Shor’s “Banca de Economii”, „Banca Socială” and „Unibank” and will use them to close the bank’s loans. Therefore, on 5th June 2014, Banca de Economii gave a loan of 45.762.200 lei to Caritas Group, which converted and transferred 1.160.000 euros to the non-resident company „Welentas LP” and 1.260.000 euros to the company „Bannyster LLP „, Both with accounts opened in „AS Privatbank” in Latvia. Following, „Welentas LP” transfers 1.159.900 euros to Investos Buenos LP, with accounts opened in „AS Privatbank”. At the same time, „Bannyster LLP” transfers 1.235.500 euro to the account of the same bank of „Dastinger LLP”, which returns them to Investos Buenos LP, which then transfers 2.395.300 euro to „Biro Media” LLC, opened in „Unibank”. The money are converted into lei, then were transferred 45.154.000 lei from the „Unibank” company account to the same company in „MoldIndConBank”, on 9th June 2014, was repaid the bank loan received on December 30, 2013 by „Biro Media” SRL to „MoldIndConBank”. Therefore, in just 4 days, money emanating from Banca de Economii were transited through several accounts from Latvia’s „AS Privatbank” and returned to Moldova on „MoldIndConBank” accounts, and those withdrawn from „MoldIndConBank” in December 2013 remained in the bank from Latvia, losing track.
According to an identical scheme, on the accounts of „MoldIndConBank” was repaid a 38.3 million lei loan received on 26th June 2014 from „Banca de Economii” by „Dasler Con” SRL, the credit of 2 million euros taken on 20th July 2014 from Banca de Economii by Alvaro Grup LLC, the loan of 3.749.340 lei taken on 12th June 2014 from Banca de Economii by „Danmira” SRL, the loan of 46.887.600 lei taken on 9th June 2014 from Banca de Economii by ” Caritas Group „SRL (also involved in the above scheme) and the 46.649.350 credit received on 24th June 2014 from Banca de Economii by” Dasler Con „SRL.
Guided by patrons from Moscow, in September 2014, Shor invited Filat to a conference call with Platon. Having fallen prey to his own greed, without even known that he is becoming an accomplice to the plans of Russian special services, Filat approves the second stage of the Moldovan bank fraud, covering the act at the political level. He requested in exchange 180 million USD. At that meeting Filat already knew that Finance Minister Anatol Arapu would approve the approval at the Government of a guarantee for a loan from the reserve of the National Bank of Moldova to the banks of Ilan Shor, which will cover all non-performing loans.
Therefore, according to Platon’s scheme, between October and November 2014, Shor registered several non-resident companies, through which the re-crediting of „Unibank”, Băncii Sociale” and „Banca de Economii” took place to ensure the start of money laundering at maximum speed.