Head of pro-Russian Sputnik Moldova news agency detained over $1 bn theft

Vladimir Novosadyuk, phot: Sputnik/Miroslav Rotari

Moldova’s National Anti-Corruption Centre has detained Vladimir Novosadyuk, Director of the news agency Sputnik-Moldova, over the case of stealing $1 bn from the country’s the banking system.

At the moment, the media manager is giving evidence, local media report.

During the search, the law enforcers found video recordings confirming the facts of bribing a number of representatives of Moldova’ security agencies. They also came across a ‘slush fund’ which is indicative of Sputnik-Moldova’s inviting paid-for political scientists and experts.

UPD Vladimir Novosadyuk has been released on his own recognizance not to leave the country, Deutsche Welle reports.

As reported earlier, about $1 bn (almost 20% of Moldova’s GDP) were got out of three banks and transferred to foreign accounts; Moldovan deputy Ilan Shor being involved in the case. In August, the Moldovan parliament stripped Shor of immunity. In 2017, the court sentenced him to 7.5 years in prison. However, the former MP fled the country; now he is on the international wanted list.

The media brand Sputnik was designed by agency Rossiya Segodnya (Russia Today) for a global audience. In 2014, the agency announced Sputnik’s broadcasting in 30 languages (incl. Arabic, Chinese, Crimean Tatar, English, Estonian, French, Deutsch, Georgian, Japanese, Latvian, Moldovian, Polish, Portuguese, Spanish, Ukrainian), with over 800 hours of radio programming daily, covering over 130 cities in 34 countries. Up to 100 journalists – ‘local professionals’ were expected to work at each Sputnik centre.


See also