Russia opens investigation against Plahotniuc, Țuțu on drug trafficking charges

The Russian police today initiated criminal proceedings in absentia against the former leader of the Moldovan Democratic Party Vlad Plahotniuc and his protégé Constantin Țuțu on charges that include transnational organized crime and 28 counts of large-scale drug trafficking.

It is alleged that the transnational ring, which included a host of organized groups, was founded in 2012 by Oleg Pruteanu, a Moldovan national, alongside a number of Spaniards. The drugs originated in Northern Africa and reached Russia and other CIS countries via the European Union, according to the investigation. More than 60 suspects have been identified and faced charges.

It is also alleged that Plahotniuc became a leader of the transnational group the year it was founded, and communicated with Pruteanu through Constantin Țuțu, a former combat sports champion. Plahotniuc is accused of using his political influence and “criminal methods of coercion against those resisting”.