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Igor Chaika, Son of Russia’s Prosecutor General, Became the Majority Shareholder of the Company That Owns the TV Channels Primul in Moldova and Accent TV

30 December 2019
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The businessman and youngest son of the Prosecutor General of Russia – Igor Chaika, became on the 27th of December the owner of 51% of shares in the Media Invest Service company, founder of Telesistem SRL, owner of broadcast licenses for TV channels Primul in Moldova and Accent TV, says openmedia.io. Vadim Ciubara, national of Moldova, used to be the sole owner of Media Invest Service, owning 100% of shares, but now he is its Director General holding 49% of the shares.

The statements that Igor Dodon had made a day before Chaika was registered as owner at the talk show ‘Puterea a partra’ [‘The Fourth Power’] on N4 about the fact that Primul in Moldova would soon have owners from the Russian Federation came true. Note that Igor Chaika and Alexandru Dodon, the brother of President Igor Dodon, are co-owners of another company – ‘Industrial Ecological Operator’, established on 30 August, this year and dealing with non-hazardous waste. Alexandru Dodon owns 10% of the shares, Chaika – 40%, while the other half of shares belongs to a third business partner – Alexandru Ponomariov. Chaika and Ponomariov own together Arhplei Development Ltd  construction company, with Alexandru Dodon joining in later (15%).

Igor Chaika is also Ambassador of ‘Delovaia Rossia’ business association to Moldova and Transnistria. The son of Russia’s Prosecutor General is also involved in the work of the Russian-Moldovan Economic Council.

Earlier, the Russian Anti-Corruption Fund of the politician Alexei Navalny published an investigation into the business affairs of the sons of Yury Chaika, Russia’s Prosecutor General. The investigation inquired into whether the businesses of Igor and Artiom Chaika were obtained legally and into their property abroad. Igor Chaika claimed that the information published by Navalny’s fund was not true.

Primul in Moldova started airing recently without having obtained directly the broadcast license from the Broadcasting Council, but using the license of Accent TV. On 21 October 2019, the BC accepted the application filed by Telesistem SRL, which manages Accent TV, to turn Accent TV into Primul in Moldova on the ground that it had concluded a contract to retransmit ‘Pervii Canal’ from the Russian Federation. On 4 November, the Telesistem SRL applied for another license for Accent TV, using the old name, arguing that it was at viewers’ request. The BC accepted this application as well and thus Telesistem SRL became owner of 2 TV Channels – Accent TV and Primul in Moldova.

Ziarul de Garda wrote that according to the documents regarding the registration of ‘Telesistem TV’, it belonged until 2015 to the Russian enterprise ‘Volga Export’. ‘Volga Expert’ seems to have bought it in 2013 for EUR 30.000 and to have sold it in 2015 to Vadim Ciubara for only 12.000 RUB (cca. EUR 170).

Those documents also show that starting 2015 ‘Media Invest Service’ was represented in the Republic of Moldova by Vadim Filipov, member of the Central Electoral Commission, from PSRM, and representative of other companies affiliated with the socialists. Filipov held a general power of attorney which allowed him to make any decision on behalf of the owner, who was in Moscow.

ZdG.md also wrote that in November 2019 the Russian company Media Invest Service, founded by Vadim Ciubara, also took over the company Media Contact SRL, which is managing currently the websites and social media: Mail.ru, Odnoklassniki.ru, Мой Мир, VK, Noi.md and Unimedia.

At the meeting of 29 December, the BC is to examine the application of Primul in Moldova to air on the state network No III in analog format. One of the conditions that Pervii Kanal from Russian imposed was for channels retransmitting it in the Republic of Moldova to own the license to broadcast nationwide.