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HomeLithuaniaProbe links Lithuania's Mediafon to oligarch wanted by Moldova (media)

Probe links Lithuania’s Mediafon to oligarch wanted by Moldova (media)

A company that has been administering a phone number portability service in Moldova for a decade has been owned not only by Lithuania’s MG Group, but also by other companies with unknown beneficiaries, which have settled accounts with a business belonging to Vladimir Plahotniuc, an oligarch wanted by Moldova’s enforcement, RISE Moldova and Siena, the Moldovan and Lithuanian investigative journalism centers, report on Monday.

Lithuanian firm Mediafon won a tender to administer a number portability system in Moldova back in 2012, but the Lithuanian company has not been in control of the Moldovan firm for many years.

Registered in the British Virgin Islands, Mediafon Investment Corporation became the main shareholder of NP Base SRL, the Moldovan company that provided the mobile phone portability administration service, since 2013 and had a 63 percent stake, but the ultimate beneficiary was unclear. The remaining shares were held by Lithuania’s Mediafon.

Mediafon Investment Corporation controlled the Moldovan company until 2016 when 63 percent of NP Base SRL shares were transferred to Mediafon Services (CY) LTD, a company registered in Cyprus, which also has no ownership links with the Lithuanian company.

Investigative journalists’ analysis of NP Base SRL’s banking transactions worth more than 15 million eyros revealed that a large part of the money that left the company ended up with Vanguard International Ltd, a Dubai-based company. Plahotniuc has admitted that he owns this company.

NP Base SRL was eventually identified by the Moldovan authorities as having links to the oligarch who is wanted for possible financial crimes. In addition, Victoriabank, a Moldovan bank, decided to freeze NP Base SRL’s account, a decision which was later challenged in court.

Mediafon, which is part of MG Group, says it has no knowledge of any links between its business partners in Moldova and Plahotniuc.

“Neither NP Base SRL, nor JSC Mediafon has carried out any transactions with this person or his related companies, and we have no information about the person as a beneficiary,” Mediafon said in a statement.

Lithuania’s Mediafon took over all the shares in NP Base SRL in 2021.

Source: BNS

(Reproduction of BNS information in mass media and other websites without written consent of BNS is prohibited.)


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