OBSERVATOR with Gabriel Călin // Millions, Airplanes and Empires (VIDEO)


They have robbed the Republic of Moldova for years on end and now they claim to be champions of the struggle against the Mafia. They have built financial empires using public funds and now they call on the people to take to the streets in search of the stolen billion 00.20 out of which they have taken a large chunk. 00.22 Millions, airplanes and empires. Observator. Enjoy!

Victor Topa is one of the most despicable characters of Moldova’s recent history. The damage he has caused is extremely great. And the television network that he owns forgets to report on that. And it serves the purposes of its master like a loose woman who claims to still be a virgin. Let’s take them by the numbers. The year is 2000. The Moldovan Parliament is shaken by a massive row. Victor Topa is heard by the law-making body in relation with the privatization of Air Moldova, sold to the German company Unistar Vencer. The MPs are interested in the manner under which, in great haste and in deep secrecy, Unistar Vencer has come to own 49% of the shares in Air Moldova. The manager of the State Aviation Administration, Victor Topa explained to the MPs that the takeover of the Air Moldova stock by Unistar Vencer was accomplished by an increase in the company’s assets. Which means that Unistar has added funds into the assets of Air Moldova and thus irrevocably acquired the share of stock.

Later on, according to information that emerged, it was found out that Unistar Vencer is actually in the possession of Victor Topa himself. Interestingly enough, the entire scheme looks to have been prepared since 1999 At the time, in charge of privatizing state assets was one of Topa’s friends, Vlad Filat. Without his consent and without his discretion, the transaction that involved the Air Moldova stock simply would not have been possible. But we shall return to the scheme of selling state shares into private hands.

Another thing is very interesting. What is the source of the money used by Topa to build his financial empire? Several Moldovan aiplanes have been very active in Africa, and Victor Topa, in charge of the aviaton at the time, was no stranger to this. They flew into countries where there is always an on-going armed conflict. There were several rows regarding this strange activity in countries where there simply is no currency. There, in most of the cases, trade is done in diamonds or in drugs. Accidentally or not, we discover some years later that Victor is the target of several international investigations. Alongside with several international drug barons, no less. One of the inquiests mentioned is related to laundering drug money. The name of a well-known drug baron appears right next to the Moldovan Victor Topa. This was a vast international operation named Cellmate, coordinated by the DEA from the United States and by the Belgian Federal Police, on behalf of the EU.

Is it simply a coincidence? Possibly. But nothing is accidental, especially when huge amounts of money are at stake.

So Topa, having run business in countries where only the AK submachine gun is allowed to vote, attempts to take over the assets of the Republic of Moldova. Who jumps to assist? Vlad Filat, who protects the scheme abusing the office that he holds. Another one to offer his help is Viorel Topa. The latter, at the top of the Moldovan Savings Bank (BEM), offers loans to Air Moldova. To this very day, it’s still unclear what happened to one million dollars that Viorel has transferred to Victor, using Air Moldova accounts. Most probably, that money was also part of the privatization scheme that deprived the state of its share of stock. And there is more. This transaction left Viorel Topa with a fee of USD 400.000.

In order to provide Air Moldova with a loan of USD 1.000.000, Viorel thTopa transfers in the BEM accounts USD 400.000 as collateral. The transfer is made by an offshore company named Sparks Management Corporation. Held by Topa himself. After Air Moldova obtained the loan of USD 1.000.000, the second phase of the embezzlement scheme kicks in. Knowing from the start that Air Moldova is not going to pay back the loan, Viorel Topa, as chief of BEM, writes an order that allows the offshore company owned by him to withdraw the money from the bank. Even if the money was collateral. And so, Viorel Topa gains illegaly, using fraud, an undeserved fee of USD 400.000 for a loan that he knew from the start it would not be made good on. And BEM was left without te million and without the collateral that was illegally withdrawn by Viorel Topa. In other words, the Topa brothers exchanged USD 400.000 of their own for USD 1.000.000 from the bank. Hence a criminal case that lead to Viorel Topa’s conviction, a case that they cynically refer to as a “political case”. Let’s return to Victor Topa. After he held, for a brief period, in 2001, the office of Secretary of Transportation, he is removed from office by the Communist Party. Later on, he faces criminal charges for his felonies. The file is referred to prosecutor Andrei Nastase. Now, a champion of the Civic Platform “Dignity and Truth” (DA).

Miraculously, the prosecutor Nastase becomes the godson of the defendant. His family is moved to Frankfurt, in a house purchased by Victor Topa. And the criminal case simply disappears. Even if he was one step away from prison and only corrupting the investigators helped him get away, the despicable character who has learned his morals from his mates who ran drug cartels is far from settling down. His way of life is beyond change. It’s very relevant to this end the way in which he gained possession of some Victoria Bank shares. Victor Topa became a good manager after he extorted the stock in a Moscow hotel from the rightful share owner Galina Proidisvet, under death threats. She and three of her relatives owned 15% of the stock, in value of USD 9.000.000. “You are a granma, you have children, you have grandchildren, you must think of them.” Finally, a ruling by a commercial court, the shares were returned to the former owners. 05.28 And Victor was sentenced to a long prison term, for this almost successful racketeering. Although Topa’s actions speak for themselves, he claims to have lost the stock and to have been under criminal probing as reprisal for having spoken against Vlad Plahotniuc. Topa plays equally dirty in Germany, where he fled to escape the Moldovan justice and where he keeps plotting to this day.

In 2011, the German magazine Der Spiegel has scandalized the public opinion with a story which claims that the government airplane Theodor Heuss, used by the German chancellor Angela Merkel, was sold with the help of some Eastern-European investors to Iran. The problem was that the aircraft became part of the Iranian fleet, in breach of the European embargo imposed on Iran. Which is illegal and scandalous. More interestingly, the airplane was sold through a company registered in Gibraltar, under the name of Aero Flight Limited, whose main stock holder is Avalon Services Limited, registered in the Bahamas. The owner of Aero Flight Limited in Gibraltar is none other than Victor Topa. It’s interesting how the same company, Aero Flight Limited, was also the owner of Victoria Aircraft Lease, where Vitor Topa and Vladimir Orsovschi were once managers. This company later rebranded as German Medical Diagnostic GmbH, owned by the German Diagnose Centre. And now, back to the privatization scheme for Air Moldova. Suspiciously similar to it is the way in which the Republic of Moldova has lost its shares at the Savings Bank in 2013. It was all done in the same manner, by an increase in capital. Our heroes used a method that proved fruitful thanks to the actions of Topa and Filat since 2000. As we said before, nothing is accidental when big money is at stake. Both the heist at Air Moldova and the fraud at BEM occurred under instable political conditions. In both cases, Filat was holding key-positions that allowed him to cover-up these wrong-doings. In both cases, the cabinets were about to be sacked and they were all stealing as much as they could in the final lap, to make up for whatever they missed during their mandates.

Even more, reliable sources withing the Liberal-Democratic Party have confirmed for Observator that the Alliance dissolved in 2013 namely at the initiative of Victor Topa. He convinced Filat that he was able to win a political battle. A battle that generated chaos and under chaos, stealing becomes a lot easier. Filat’s visit to Frankfurt is also no accident, on April 1st 2015. Even his meeting with his old partner in crime is no accident, and Filat even takes pride in their relationship. He admitted it live, on television. I had no idea that I was being followed during by trips abroad, In can only say one thing, I never stopped communicating with certain people. Including – very seldom, but we did communicate – with Mr. Victor Topa. And I see nothing wrong with this. A partner that takes people to the streets and directs the crowd where he needs it, with the help of his godsons and of some political analysts.

Who have recently become owners of several flats, as a reward for their performance in the square. It’s cynical to say the least the way these two send the protesters outin search of the stolen billionto the square, where there is no trace of the billion. And, in this case, it’s the thief who is crying out “Catch the thief!” The financial empire built by Victor Topa has many resources. What are the old friends up to this time, only they know.

All we can do is wait and become once more the witnesses of more cynical schemes, devised and implemented by characters who have long lost their good and who live by their own laws. Laws under which the common people are nothing but a source of income. It’s a shame that Jurnat TV, a network built with money from Topa’s so-called business, is not going to give us a heads-up as to what their boss is planning. (singing) Come home, return home, children!


This post is also available in: Romanian

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