Businessman Iurii Ceban, who says he owns the hangar in Criuleni district, hasn’t been yet given a legal status in the criminal case started over the intention to smuggle helicopters as he didn’t appear before the investigation authorities.
Contacted by IPN for a comment, spokesman for the Prosecutor’s Office for Organized Crime and Special Cases Emil Gaitur said eight persons now have the status of witnesses and two have the status of accused, being charged with planning to smuggle aircraft.
“It should be noted that the prosecutors do not investigate the persons, but the criminal acts. They are taking action to accumulate evidence and do not tend to take preventive measures in order to impress. More information cannot be provided at this stage as the investigation should be continued in accordance with the law,” stated Emil Gaitur.
On June 30, prosecutors said searches were carried out at a hangar in Criuleni, noting helicopters produced there clandestinely were to be taken to CIS countries. At least ten helicopters were at different stages of production. The manufacturing process was conducted in the absence of the necessary permissive documents and documents of origin for the used parts and equipment.
Businessman Iurii Ceban on July 2 disseminated an open letter, saying a group of enthusiasts did technical tests on mock-ups, not on helicopters, as the prosecutors called them. The man noted he holds patents on different technical solutions for fuselage models that were perceived as helicopters by the law. According to the entrepreneur, any qualified building engineer can confirm that any mock-up, called helicopters by prosecutors, to fly safely or to be bought by someone, needs to be tested for a long period of time and implies certification procedures that last for years.