Analysis // Every year, about 1.8 billion dollars reach the Republic of Moldova through illicit trade schemes
Annually, approximately 1.8 billion dollars reach the Republic of Moldova through illicit trade schemes, according to an analysis carried out by the economist Veaceslav Ioniță. He also claims that over $500 million is leaving the country through overpriced purchases. In order to develop a sustainable, efficient and transparent system, the relevant authorities have developed a national public procurement program for 2023-2026.
The estimates of the economic expert Veaceslav Ioniță reveal that from 2009 to 2018, about 20% of the volume of international trade of the Republic of Moldova was made up of illicit flows. This year, the amount would reach about 1.8 billion dollars, of which one billion represents illegal money inflows, and 700 million – outflows. Veaceslav Ioniță claims that of the total of 700 million dollars that leave the country illegally, more than 500 million are through purchases at exaggerated prices, including the use of off-shore companies.
"This year, around 550 million dollars will come out illegally, through exaggerated invoices, for the procurement of imported goods. Imagine the people who participate in the public procurement of either diesel or gas, procure at a price much higher than it costs, the producer gets the correct amount, and the rest, the difference of 10, 20, 30 million dollars remains offshore. After this, it is clear, some go to the yacht, others go to the house in Vienna, but some have to be brought back home. Well, the money is brought in through another scheme, through the over-invoicing of the exported goods. 550 million dollars annually leave our country on just one position," noted the economist.
In order to develop a sustainable, transparent and efficient system, the National Program for the Development of Public Procurement was developed. It is focused on excluding the risks of fraud, so that the purchases bring value for money, the state secretary of the Ministry of Finance, Vladimir Arachelov, explained to Radio Moldova. He noted the need for diversified procurement procedures and the development of their monitoring capabilities.
"We are aware of these problems and deficiencies in the system and this program directly answers these questions on different dimensions. The first dimension is that strategic planning process and the integration of the process into the strategic procurement planning process so that we also have those strategic purchases, we also have those purchases planned correctly, with correct documentation, so that through the planning process we exclude those risks in which the documentation is non-qualitative, favorable to one or another institution, for these procedures to be carried out in a fair and legal manner", explained the secretary of state.
According to an analysis carried out by the expert in the field, Diana Enachi, the volume of public procurement during the past year, increased by over 60 percent compared to 2021. Accordingly, last year the public authorities of the Republic of Moldova spent about 14 billion lei on procurement, 5 billion lei more compared to 2021.