A London bistro owner is demanding Moldovan officials hand over a record 1.4 million GBP which they seized in a series of raids targeting a local businessmen connected with tobacco smuggling.
The police reportedly raided 13 properties in Moldova two days ago as part of a cigarette smuggling crackdown.
Cops were reportedly trying to find Vladimir Mardar who is wanted in Romania, Moldova and the Ukraine for cigarette smuggling According to local media, when they carried out the raids, the money was found in plastic bags in a lorry at one of the addresses in the Moldovan commune of Leuseni.
It was the largest amount of cash ever seized in a single raid in the country, and was hidden in plastic bags in 20 and 50 EUR banknotes.
The driver was arrested and placed under house arrest for 30 days and cops claimed that suspected tobacco smuggler, Vladimir Mardar, was the owner of the cash.
The same day, Moldovan president Igor Dodon, 45, said the money seized by Leuseni customs will be confiscated by the state.
However, in a new twist Moldovan businessman Adriano Dulgher, 34, who owns Adrian’s Bar & Bistro in London, has emerged to say that the money has his.
He has reportedly launched a lawsuit demanding that the Moldovan government return the 1.6 million EUR (1.4 million GBP) seized during the raid.
He told the Moldovan authorities that he could not at the moment arrive in the country to get it back because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but he expects it to be returned.
Dulgher said: “I received this sum from my business in Africa. I sent it to Moldova to continue investing in my agricultural projects.
“We want to expand our operations. I don’t think there should be conditions on me regarding how I choose to invest.”
The businessman also said that he has evidence to prove that the money belongs to him.
The investigation is ongoing.
To find out more about the author, editor or agency that supplied this story – please click below.
Story By: Gheorghi Caraseni, Sub Editor: Michael Leidig, Agency: Newsflash
The Ananova page is created by and dedicated to professional, independent freelance journalists. It is a place for us to showcase our work. When our news is sold to our media partners, we will include the link here.