Moldovan Jailed for Selling Weapons after Offering Arms to OCCRP

Ion Druta, a Moldovan national accused of selling weapons bound for the conflict in Ukraine, was sentenced to five years in prison for arms trafficking yesterday, Jan. 20.

Ion Druta Under Arrest

Last May, undercover OCCRP journalists, in partnership with RISE Moldova, captured audio and video of Druta offering to deliver a large shipment of weapons to Ukraine. The journalists first arranged a smaller transaction, in which Druta sold them an anti-tank grenade launcher and a semi-automatic pistol. In the recording, Druta says that the weapons came from the Russian military base in Transnistria, a Russian-speaking breakaway region of Moldova that borders Ukraine.

This transaction occurred during the height of the Ukraine conflict, after clashes in Odessa that left 40 people dead.