Traders from markets forced to pay “protection fee” of 5,000 to 10,000 lei

Four functionaries of the Agency for Consumer Protection and Market Surveillance were arrested on charges of passive corruption. These are suspected of regularly asking and receiving money from traders for not hindering them in their work, IPN reports.

The National Anticorruption Center said that employees of the Agency carried out inspections at the markets in Chisinau and in other parts of the county and collected “protection fees” for not indicating alleged irregularities identified in entrepreneurial activity. In four of the cases examined by the Center, the sums varied between 5,000 and 10,000 lei. The money was paid in installments.

A number of searches were carried out this morning in offices of employees of the Agency for Consumer Protection and Market Surveillance. Four inspectors were arrested and remanded in custody for 72 hours.

Passive corruption carries up to ten years in jail, a fine of at most 400,000 lei and ban on holding public posts for seven to ten years.

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