Monday, December 14, 2009

ZDG takes on the railroad mafia

Ziarul de Garda (ZDG) is a little paper which has a fine tradition of investigating corruption and human rights abuses.  In recent weeks, in a series of investigative articles, ZDG has turned its attention to the goings on on Moldova's rail system (Romanian speakers can find the articles here).

Anybody who has ever taken an international train to or from Chisinau will recognise the look of disappointment in a conductor's eyes when you produce an official ticket rather than purchase a seat direct from the conductor using cash.  This is explained by the fact that, according to ZDG, each conductor is obliged to pay $300 per trip to one Gheorghe Moraru, for the privilege of maintaining their position.

Among many other abuses detailed by the paper are a requirement for employees to pay $2,000 in order to secure employment, and stories of wagons on the train to Moscow being loaded up with illegal wine exports.

Now, the team at ZDG and their families are receiving anonymous telephonic threats to their physical safety.  They are requesting from the authorities both protection and a speedy investigation into the multifarious rackets on the rails.

Zimbru adds his voice to their calls.

1 comment:

  1. Miron Gagauz, the head of the state-owned railway company CFM, has resigned today, in part as a response to ZDG's investigation. Apparently at the current time there are 57 officers from the anti-corruption agency investigating the company.