Update to MDA30359.E of 30 October 1998 on organized crime; victims of organized crime and state protection available to them; state protection available to former organized crime members who leave the organized crime "ring"; involvement of corrupt police in organised crime and reports of organised crime elements targeting investigating police officers (October 1998-May 2000) [MDA34408.E]

In a 4 April 2000 Interlic article, the Moldovan Minister of Internal Affairs, Vladimir Turcan, stated that although the disbanding of several major criminal groups had caused a seven per cent reduction in criminal activity in March 2000 over December 1999 "by order" murders, attacks on policemen remained a problem in Moldova, and drug-related crimes were increasing (Interlic 4 Apr. 2000).

Several articles make references to criminal groups involved in various criminal activities, such as a kidney donor racket (Itar-Tass 30 Apr. 1999), people trafficking (Ukrainian Television Third Programme 10 Aug. 1999), including children (Ukrainian Television First Programme 6 July 1999), migrant smuggling (CTK National News Wire 15 Oct. 1998; Itar-Tass 15 Dec. 1998), and currency counterfeiting (Interlic 28 Jan. 2000). Two Interlic articles also make references to two criminal groupings, named "Zeliony (Zelyony)" and "Jeca" whose leaders were murdered (4 Apr. 2000; 6 Mar. 2000).

Several other articles refer to shootings of members of organized crime groups (Ibid.; Ibid. 13 Jan. 2000; DPA 18 Feb. 2000; The Times of India 22 Feb. 2000). The city of Bendery is described as "the Moldovan capital of 'by order' crimes" in one report, which also mentions the case of two brothers, members of a criminal group, who were arrested after attacking a member of another criminal ring (Interlic 13 Jan. 2000). While one of the brothers was released, the other escaped while in custody (ibid.).

An Itar-Tass article dated 17 March 2000 reported that a priest from Vadul-Lui-Vode was sentenced to 12 years imprisonment for being the leader of a criminal group engaged in robberies (Itar-Tass 17 Mar. 2000).

In early 2000, Moldovan President Petru Lucinschi insisted on the necessity of taking efficient measures to fight corruption and organized crime (Interlic 24 Jan. 2000). He also stressed that these steps had to abide by the law and required close cooperation between government bodies in charge of law and order (Interlic 24 Jan. 2000). A few weeks later, Lucinschi stated that the fight against corruption and organized crime was a government priority (Interlic 15 Feb. 2000).

His statements followed earlier critical statements about the way the authorities had been fighting organized crime (Interfax 21 Jul. 1999; Basapres 18 Sept. 1999), although he had also reiterated his support for the department and its leadership (ibid.).

In July 1999, then Interior Minister Viktor Katan reported that 15 criminal cases had been opened against officers with the anti-organized crime and corruption department of the Interior Ministry, including three high-ranking officers (Interfax 21 July 1999). They were accused of selling confiscating goods, and misusing and embezzling funds (ibid.).

In March 2000, the Minister of Interior stated that an officer with the Department of Combating Organized Crime and Corruption had been arrested in connection with a number of crimes (Interlic 6 Mar. 2000).

Also in March, Serghei Suhodol, the Chief of the Chisinau Criminal Police, supervising the investigation into contract killings, was reported to have received threats by telephone, a fact that is not unusual for policemen in general, according to the chief of the press service of the Chisinau Police Commissariat (Interlic 13 March 2000). The article also notes that these threats occurred after the Department of Combating Organized Crime and Corruption of the Moldovan Ministry of Internal Affairs tried to accuse Serghei Suhodol of corruption (ibid.). However, the Chisinau Procurator's Office refused to indict the Chief of the Chisinau Criminal Police and released him (ibid.).

With respect to international cooperation in the fight against organized crime, Moldova and Russia signed a bilateral Cooperation Agreement in late April 2000 - early May 2000 providing for joint activities in "combating organized crime, separatism, illegitimate drug and explosives trafficking, sales of arms, economic crime [and] illegal migration"(Interlic 2 May 2000).

Earlier, Moldova, Ukraine and Romania had signed an intergovernmental cooperation agreement on fighting organized crime (Ukrainian Television First Programme 6 July 1999; Intelnews 8 Jul. 1999). The agreement provides for joint control in the effort to combat the illegal circulation of drugs and arms, the fight against white slavery and illegal migration (Ukrainian Television First Programme 6 July 1999). Provisions are also made for the exchange of information, specialists and new training methods (ibid.; Intelnews 8 Jul. 1999).

For information on state protection available to victims of organized crime, please refer to the attached Act of the Republic of Moldova Respecting Protection of the State to Crime Victims, Witnesses and Other Individuals Providing Assistance in Criminal Cases enacted on 26 March 1998.

Additional information on the application or implementation of this law could not be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate.

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum. Please find below the list of sources consulted in researching this Response.


Basapres [Chisinau, in English]. 18 September 1999. "Moldovan President Unhappy with Work of Police." (FBIS-SOV-1999-0920 23 Sept. 1999/WNC)

CTK National News Wire [Prague]. 15 October 1998. "Transport of Refugees from Moldova Organised by Mafia - Press." (NEXIS)

Deutsche Presse-Agentur (DPA). 18 February 2000. "Constructorul Football Club President, Bodyguards Shot in Moldova." (NEXIS)

Intelnews [Kiev, in English]. 8 July 1999. "Ukraine, Moldova, Romania Unite in Fight Against Crime." (FBIS-SOV-1999-0708 9 Jul. 1999/WNC)

Interfax [Moscow, in English]. 21 July 1999. "Moldova's Lucinschi on Fight Against Organized Crime." (FBIS-SOV-1999-0722 23 July 1999/WNC)

Interlic [Chisinau]. 2 May 2000. "On the Alert." http://webserver.cri.m...in/in_viewnews.cgi?newsid957301260,43117, [Accessed 4 May 2000]

_____. 4 April 2000. "Perpetrators Not to Be Unveiled for the Time Being." http://webserver.cri.m...in/in_viewnews.cgi?newsid954883715,73085, [Accessed 4 May 2000]

_____. 13 March 2000. "Threats." http://webserver.cri.m...in/in_viewnews.cgi?newsid952979461,2800, [Accessed 4 May 2000]

_____. 6 March 2000. "'Brethren' Settling Their Conflicts in Their Own Way." http://webserver.cri.m...in/in_viewnews.cgi?newsid952374337,7826, [Accessed 4 May 2000]

_____. 15 February 2000. "President Disposed Optimistically." http://webserver.cri.m...in/in_viewnews.cgi?newsid950646070,88490, [Accessed 4 May 2000]

_____. 24 January 2000. "President Tasks Ministry of Internal Affairs." http://webserver.cri.m...in/in_viewnews.cgi?newsid948746966,95214, [Accessed 4 May 2000]

_____. 24 January 2000. "President Tasks Ministry of Internal Affairs." http://webserver.cri.m...in/in_viewnews.cgi?newsid948746966,95214, [Accessed 4 May 2000]

_____. 13 January 2000. "Escaped." http://webserver.cri.m...in/in_viewnews.cgi?newsid947802191,85920, [Accessed 4 May 2000]

Itar-Tass [Kishinev]. 17 March 2000. "Priest Convicted for Gangsterism in Moldova." (NEXIS)

Itar-Tass [Moscow]. 30 April 1999. "Moldovan Police on the Trail of Those Behind a Kidney Donor Racket." (BBC Worlwide Monitoring 1 May 1999/LEXIS)

_____. 15 December 1998. Valery Demidetsky. "Underground Tunnel for Refugee Smuggling Found in Moldavia." (NEXIS)

The Times of India. 22 February 2000. "Crime and Sports, Russian Style." http://www.timesofindia.com/220200/22spor7.htm [Accessed 4 May 2000]

Ukrainian Television First Programme [Kiev]. 6 July 1999. "Ukraine, Moldova, Romania Sign Agreement on Fighting Crime." (BBC Summary of World Broadcasts 8 July 1999/NEXIS)

Ukrainian Television Third Programme [Kiev]. 10 August 1999. "Ukraine: Moldovan Man Accused of Operating White-Slavery Ring." (BBC Worldwide Monitoring 11 Aug. 1999/NEXIS)


Moldova. Act of the Republic of Moldova Respecting Protection of the State to Crime Victims, Witnesses and Other Individuals Providing Assistance in Criminal Cases. 26 March 1998. Translated by the Multilingual Translation Directorate of the Department of Public Works and Government Services Canada.

Additional Sources Consulted

IRB Databases

Jane's International Police Review.

Jane's Intelligence Review


Internet Sites, including;

Crime Digest (US embassy in Kiev, Regional Security Office)


Federation of American Scientists (FAS)


Nathanson Centre for the Study of Organized Crime and Corruption

Organized Crime Worldwide

Patterns of Global Terrorism

Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL)

Soros Foundation Moldova


Transnational Crime and Corruption Center

World Crime

World News Connection(WNC)