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Imperiul imobiliar al Familiei

By Leonard Reynolds,2014-06-28 09:31
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Imperiul imobiliar al Familiei ...

Property ‘empire of the presidential family

Vladimir Voronin entered the Presidential Office as a ‘proletarian’, but will go out as a

    millionaire at the end of the term

Vladimir Voronin entered the Presidential Office as a ‘proletarian’, but will go out as a

    millionaire when his term in office ends. During the last eight years, Vladimir Voronin, his

    wife and their children Oleg and Valentina became fabulously rich, gathering an

    impressive collection of houses, apartments and plots of land. Some of them were obtained

    free of charge or for derisory prices, with the tacit agreement of the authorities.

    Furthermore, the head of state during five years kept secret the fact that his wife Taisia has

    held an important shareholding in CB FinComBank.

Irina CODREAN and Vitalie CALUGAREANU

For the first time, Vladimir Voronin made public his property in 1996, when he ran for president

    of Moldova. He declared a three-room apartment 134 square meters in area privatized for

    national patrimonial bonds, located at 26 Serghei Lazo Street in Chisinau; an unfinished villa 6 x

    7 meters in area in Parata village (on the left bank of the Dniester) and a car VAZ 2103 bought in

    1991 for 18,000 rubles. Voronin‟s property was as modest in 1998, when he was elected MP on the PCRM ticket. During the first three years in Parliament, Voronin purchased a garage 41.1

    square meters in area on Stefan Luchian Street in Buiucani district of Chisinau. That‟s all!

    The property of Taisea and Vladimir Voronin started to grow at a rapid pace after Vladimir

    Nicolaevich was elected Moldova‟s president in 2001. When he became president, he refused to move to the official residence in the municipality of Chisinau, preferring to live in his „modest

    apartment‟ located on Serghei Lazo Street. In order to ensure the president‟s security, the police closed this zone for traffic between 19.00 and 7.00. Moreover, a police post was set up in front

    of Voronin‟s house, maintained from public money.

Duplex from Lazo St

Vladimir Voronin‟s apartment located on Sergehi Lazo Street was extended from 134 square

    meters to 232.7 square meters with the help of his son, Oleg. Officially, the head of state spent

    no money on renovation. In February 2003, Oleg exchanged apartments with his father‟s neighbor Oleg Nejivoi. The latter moved to the apartment of the president‟s son situated at

    11/3A Miron Costin Street. Oleg Voronin moved to live in his parents‟ block, at least on paper.

    The two apartments were merged into a European-style duplex. In 2005, Oleg Voronin donated

    officially his apartment to his mother Taisia. Now, Vladimir Voronin is the only owner of the

    apartment. In 2004, the duplex was valued at about 2,000,000 lei.

Villas and cars

In 2001, after elected president, Vladimir Voronin said in an interview that he stopped the

    construction works on the villa so that “the people do not say hat he became president and the

    villa started to grow quickly...” However, until the end of the term, the head of state managed to build the villa in Parata, which is 107.6 square meters in area, and to purchase two plots of land

    of 12 ares on the territory of the fruit-growing association “Flora”. Accidentally or not, the president‟s villa had been modernized during 2004-2005 while the Children‟s Center “Concordia Town of Childhood(a project of the organization “Town of the Childhood”, which is patronized by Taisia Voronin) was being built nearby.

On the death of his mother in July 2005, the president inherited his parents‟ house in Corjova

    village of Dubasari district, on the left bank of the Dniester. The house is 91.9 square meters in

    area and has an adjacent plot of 15.4 ares. Meanwhile, Voronin changed the fence and gate and

    renovated completely the house. “I conveyed all the construction materials from the right bank of

    the Dniester so that he did not pay taxes to the Transnistrian authorities because, if I come from

    Moldova to build a house here, Smirnov allows me not to pay customs duties on the construction

    materials I transport over the Dniester,” told us Lionea, a man aged 40 native of Orhei, who moved to Corjova. He was pasturing his goats near the presidents parental home.

Yet, the head of state cannot go often home owing to the restrictions imposed by the

    Transnistrian authorities. The house is guarded by a villager. When he saw we were wandering

    around, the man came out and told us the house was not for sale. There was a frolicsome dog

    with reddish-brown fur guarding the house, who ate chips and biscuits. When we told him we

    were journalists, he became speechless and did not talk to us anymore. He entered the yard, took

    out the mobile phone and reported somebody the situation.

    Until the end of the first term in office, Vladimir Voronin „populated‟ his garage in Chisinau with an M-20 car (Pobeda) and a motor scooter Yamaha 250. In February this year, the head of

    state said he sold all the units of transport.

Taisia Voronin, shareholder of FinComBank

Until last year, Vladimir Voronin hid from the fiscal bodies the information that his wife owns

    an important shareholding in FinComBank (in 2007, the holding was worth 6,879,700 lei),

    whose Administration Board is headed by the president‟s son. Asked by the journalists why he did not declare these securities until 2008, Vladimir Voronin answered: “Earlier, the members of

    the family were not included in the income statement. Only a given individual was included. I,

    for example. In 2006, my wife was also included. My son offered these shares as gift to my wife

    in 2004 or 2005, or 2006. I don‟t remember.

But the president was not right when he said that he did not have to declare his wife‟s property in

    2006. In the income statement submitted to the Central Election Commission (CEC) on

    December 25, 2004, when he ran for MP, Vladimir Voronin did not write anything in the section

    “shareholdings, including of the members of the family, in the capital of companies owned in the

    period between January 1, 2003 and December 30, 2004”.

According to the activity report for 2003 of CB FinComBank, at the end of 2003 Taisia Voronin

    owned 8.31% of the bank‟s shares. A year later, the first lady was no more among the

    shareholders of FinComBank. We presume that Taisia Voronin „renounced‟ the shares as she

    knew that her husband will have to declare them to the CEC, forgetting probably that the income

    statement includes the property for the last two years. In 2005, when Voronin was reelected as

    president, his wife became again shareholder of FinComBank with a holding of 5.32%....

Under the Penal Code, the non-presentation of the statement of income and property or the

    indication of incorrect data is punished with fine of 300 to 500 conventional units (1 c.u. is equal

    to 20 lei), with (or without) the deprivation of the right to hold certain posts or carry out certain

    activities for a period of 1 to 5 years.

Oleg and the partners

In Chisinau, Oleg and Elena Voronin and their friends own an enviable real estate collection. In

    March 2000, the Chisinau City Hall, by decision No.6/28-3, distributed a plot of 0.9 hectares

located on Ciocarliei Street, on which to build an apartment building, to Metal-Market Company,

    one of the founders of which is Oleg Voronin. The urbanism certificate No. 809 of April 24,

    2000 says that an apartment building will be built there “to improve the living conditioned of the

    employees of the society”. Two years later, the Chisinau City Hall allocated two plots of land of

    about 5 ares at a free price to Oleg Voronin “for finalizing the designing and building of the private houselocated on Ciocarliei Street.

During the next years, Oleg and his business partners (Alexandru Sisterov, Victor Hvorostovski,

    Dumitru Tatar, Natalia Tkacenko, Viktor Bolyubakh and others) built there luxurious villas. The

    house of the president‟s son is situated at 25/2 Ciocarliei Street. It is a sumptuous building that is 300 square meters in area and has an adjacent plot of about 35 ares. In March 2006, Oleg and

    Elena Voronin donated the house to their son Alexei, who is now 25. The house of the

    president‟s daughter Valentina Rusu is located nearby, at 25/3 Ciocarliei Street. This house is

    more modest. It is about 260 square meters, while the plot of land is approximately 18 ares.

The street section where these buildings are situated is guarded by employees of the State Guard

    Service. Only the dwellers and their guests have access to this zone. Our attempts to get closer to

    the house of the president‟s son were foiled by the guard. When we tried to enter the „quarter of

    grand houses‟, the man with epaulets forced us out of the perimeter. We told him we want to

    visit somebody, but he did not believe us. He started to laugh: I have already seen guests like

    you! Go away! You cannot enter without the consent of a dweller! That‟s the rule...” the guard-

    policeman told us nervously.

At the end of 2006, Moldconstruct Market SRL, where Oleg works as an economist, while his

    friends hold major holdings and important posts, was allocated a plot of land of 2.04 hectares on

    Ciocarliei Street by the decision of the Chisinau Municipal Council. The plot was sold for 4.5

    million lei, a price that is 6.5 times lower than the market price according to some experts.

Property from Vasile Alecsandri St

Oleg and Elena Voronin own an apartment that is 80 square meters in area and „nonresidential

    spaces‟ used as offices that are 280 square meters in area in an apartment building located at 79

    Vasile Alecsandri Street in downtown Chisinau. The building was erected at the start of the last

    century. The offices had been pledged for several times to FinComBank for taking out loans of

    7,000,000 lei. In the same building, one of the apartments is registered as property of SRL

    Metal-Market, though, according to the State Registration Chamber, this company was

    liquidated in 2003. The firms Moldconstruct Market and Transline, which form part of the

    „empire‟ of the capitalist Oleg directly or indirectly, are also regsitred there.

Oleg and Elena Voronin also own the building situated at 81 Vasile Alecsandri Street that

    occupies an area of 207.3 square meters and has an adjoining plot of 7 ares. This building was

    also pledged to FinComBank during 2002-2006 for obtaining loans worth 5,000,000 lei. The

    esthetic medicine clinic Medazur Med Spa SRL, which is owned by Oleg‟s sister Valentina,

    worked in this building until last year. The zone between the two buildings situated on Vasile

    Alecsandri Street is full of supervising video cameras.

Until August 2006, Oleg Voronin owned an apartment of 100 square meters located at 82/4 Ion

    Creanga Street in Chisinau. It was purchased during the Soviet period and was then sold to the

    neighbors. Another apartment situated at 11/3A Miron Costin Street belonged to Oleg until 2003.

Oleg Voronin and Brezhnev

In April 2002, by Ordinance No.29-d of the Government, the building located at 67 A. Mateevici

    St (where the secretary general of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union Leonid Brezhnev

    lived while he was first secretary of the Communist Party of the MSSR e.n.), “with all the annexes and adjoining land”, was transferred free of charge to the state-owned company Promin.

    Two months later, the building that is 514.1 square meters in area and has an adjacent plot of

    22.7 ares was sold to Maxihom SRL by direct negotiations. According to the Public Property

    Agency, IS Promin was allowed by the Privatization Department to sell the building without

    holding a public auction as “the building was in an unsatisfactory technical condition and its total

    value was nil”. Maxihom paid only 260,000 lei (about $25,000) for „Brezhnev‟s house‟ situated in the heart of the capital city, which had the status of “architectural monument of national

    importance.”

The new owner of the building Maxihom was registered on December 24, 2001 (i.e. five

    months before purchasing the building from the state by direct negotiations). The company‟s director and major associate is Oleg Homin, an old friend of Oleg Voronin, as the president‟s son stated in an interview for VIP Magazin. “Oleg Homin is wise, modest, willing to help,

    trustworthy,Voronin Junior said about his friend. Moreover, the sale-purchase contract was

    signed in the name of Maxihom by Dumitru Tatar, one of the shareholders of FinComBank and

    SRL Moldconstruct Market. One more detail... In June 2006, the building located at 67

    Mateevici Street and the apartment No. 5 situated at 79 Vasile Alecsandri Street (the last belongs

    to Oleg and Elena Voronin) were pledged to take out a loan of 37,400,000 lei (about $3,000,000)

    from SA Banca de Economii. No comment!

    Presently, „Brezhnev‟s house‟ is used as shelter by vagrants and is close to falling into ruin. It seems that Maxihom invested no money in the renovation of the building, using it only as pledge

    during all these years.

Poorer Valentina

    Until 2004, Vladimir Voronin‟s daughter Valentina Rusu lived in an apartment of 70 square meters situated at 64 Stephan the Great Blvd. in the center of Chisinau. The Rusu Family moved

    to the new house located on Ciocarliei Street at the end of the first term in office of Vladimir

    Voronin. In 1999, the Chisinau City Hall allocated Valentina‟s husband Eugen Rusu a plot of 5

    ares located on Archeologist Ion Casian Suruceanu Street, on which to build a house. Two years

    later, the president‟s son-in-law sold the plot. Since 2003, Valentina Rusu has been one of the

    major shareholders of FinComBank. She owns over 5% of the bank‟s shares. During the same period, with the help of her brother, she founded the clinic Medazur Med Spa SRL, which she

    continues to head. Her husband Eugen also works there. During Vladimir Voronin‟s presidency, his father-in-law Ozea Rusu built a villa in Centru district of Chisinau, located at 17 Mayor Carol

    Schmidt Street.

This is a story about the visible domestic property of the presidential family. There are

    interesting details about the foreign property of the Voronin Family (Heraklion island in Greece)

    and about the businesses owned in Russia and Austria... This will be yet the subject of another

    investigation.

The journalistic investigation was financed as part of the Scoop project (through the agency of

    the Danish Association for Investigative Journalism FUJ).

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