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Moldovan Defense Minister Fired After Arms Thefts

15 October 2004 -- Moldova's Defense Minister Victor Gaiciuc was dismissed today after evidence emerged of theft from arms depots.

President Vladimir Voronin's office said the minister was fired after Moldova's Supreme Security Council found him responsible for arms theft.

The Security Council recommended the dismissal of Gaiciuc and another senior official after uncovering thefts of guns, grenades, and ammunition from warehouses. Some stolen arms were recovered and a number of servicemen have been charged.

Gaiciuc's deputy, Tudor Colesniuc, has taken over as acting minister.