Moldova’s Anti-Corruption Centre Cracks Down on Money Laundering- Seizes 25 Million Lei

December 27, 2023

The Asset Recovery Agency (ARBI) of Moldova’s Anti-corruption Centre (CNA) has confiscated a bank account with an estimated value of 25 Million Lei, as per media reports. Moldova, officially known as the Republic of Moldova, is a landlocked country located in the northeastern corner of the Balkan region of Europe.

The decision to seize the bank account is possibly part of a nation’s criminal investigation aimed at revealing the illegal movement of funds. Apart from this case, ARBI is dealing with 53 other legal cases involving 119 individuals who are either under suspicion or facing charges.

Furthermore, ARBI has executed a range of measures to deter and address corruption highlighting the agency’s dedication to preserve the integrity of institutions and fight against corruption. The measures that have been taken by ARBI encompass the execution of criminal and IT forensics, the issuance of anti-corruption expert reports, operational analyses, and the release of integrity records.

Moldova’s Path to Achieve EU membership

As Moldova navigates the path to complete EU membership, these measures demonstrate a focused initiative to enhance the country’s governance systems, emphasizing commitment to transparency and accountability. Moreover, the robust actions point out Moldova’s efforts to align with rigorous standards set by the EU.

Despite its status as Europe’s economically challenged country, Moldova has achieved candidate status from the European Council in June 2022. Moreover, the country has fulfilled six out of nine criteria required to initiate talks for European Union membership.

The remaining criteria to be fulfilled include the reform of the judiciary, de-oligarchization, and the fight against corruption.  Reportedly, Moldova has attained a “certain level of preparedness” in its efforts to combat corruption, demonstrating “some progress”.  However, Moldova still needs to make significant progress in addressing major corruption cases and lengthy criminal proceedings.

Announcement of Open Membership Negotiation

On 15 December, during the parliamentary session of Moldova and Georgia, lawmakers waved EU flags and played the bloc’s anthem followed by the announcement to start negotiations for Moldova’s and Ukraine’s EU membership and granting Georgia candidate status.

While expressing joy over the announcement, Maia Sandu, President of Moldova, reportedly stated this a “historic step for the destiny of our country.”

Dorin Recean, pro-western Prime Minister of Moldova remarked by supporting Sandu’s statement and said, “Moldova is European” and “our future is in the EU.”

Moldova’s commitment to achieving EU membership depends upon ongoing efforts to meet the robust standards established by the EU and only time will reveal the outcomes.

Also read: What are the EU’s Anti-Money Laundering Directives?