A large beneficiary of agricultural subsudies has been ordered to pay back
Translation from Romanian. The original story is HERE.
The auditors have found that Aidin SA submitted in its justification for subsidies in 2013 two invoices which the supplier – VAB Com SRL, also a beneficiary of subsidies – had already cancelled. The invoices were showed as a proof of procurement of equipment for primary processing of cereals.
How subsidies are granted
The auditors also found that the Agency for Interventions and Payments in Agriculture (AIPA) did not verify the validity of Aidin’s documents which were attached to the application # 8/1303CO226 for subsidies neither during the submission time (25.03.2013), nor the in-field review (15.04.2013), or the post-disbursement period (20.06.2016), therefore an extra amount of 738,000 lei was added based on unjustly. Aidin received overall 1,176,500 lei.
Based on a request from the Auditors Chamber on 30 December 2016, AIPA filed an investigation on the issue and established that the Aidin sold the equipment for which it had received the subsidies on 2 January 2017, to a company called Aur Alb SA.
Aidin sold the equipment pretty fast and this proves that its management knew about the investigation and tried to get rid of equipment.
AIPA officials explained to the auditors that the contractual clauses that prohibited the sale of equipment expired in April 2016 and the company did not need to notify AIPA or other agencies about its intentions.
The Auditors Chamber nevertheless requested the Prosecutor-General’s Office to launched a probe into the AIPA’s compliance with the laws in effect when it decided to award subsidies to Aidin for 2013.
Gagauzian lawmaker, a champion of subsidies
AIPA sais on its website that Aidin SA was in 2013-2014 among the beneficiaries that received the bulk of subsidy money in Moldova. In 2013 it won 4.5 million lei in subsidies, the fifth largest subsidy amount. The biggest part of the money – 3.24 million lei – was used to buy 200 milky cows from the Netherlands, which are able to deliver up to 9,000 liters of milk a year. Each cow cost 2.100 euros.
In 2014 Aidin climbed to the top of beneficiaries in Moldova with 14.8 million lei in subsidies, according to the Auditors Chamber. In 2015 the suze of subsidies abruptly dropped to just 768,000 lei and this sum was released only in 2016.
Aidin SA is owned by Grigorii Morari, a former member of the Gagauzian autonomy regional legislature in 2008-2015. In 2014 he announced plans to build an industrial park in Comrat, the capital of the autonomy, but the field he received for this purpose has been a decay area for years.
Mr. Morari also intended to expand his business and increase the number of cows up to 500. In addition to the dairy business his company also works hundreds of hectares of orchards and vineyards.
Grigorii Morari told Mold-Street that he had not been acknowledged of the Auditors Chamber’s findings or any obligations resulting from its report. “This institution asked one month ago a set of documents regarding the subsidies I received and I offered those papers. It is the second or the third time they are checking out,” the businessman stated.
He confirmed that the plans for an industrial park stayed on. “There is a project for construction of a dairy there. If I get a construction permit, I will proceed to construction. The project may not step into implementation if the authorities think too long. Before it starts I need to build the transportation infrastructure and prepare everything for production,” Mr. Morari explained.
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