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Moldovan Communist Head Accuses Premier Of Cigarette Smuggling

Former President Vladimir Voronin leveled the accusation against Prime Minister Vlad Filat.
CHISINAU -- The leader of Moldova's opposition Communist Party has accused Prime Minister Vlad Filat of smuggling cigarettes into neighboring Romania to pay for his election campaign last year, RFE/RL's Moldovan Service reports.

Former President Vladimir Voronin told a press conference in Chisinau that Filat's campaign funds were provided by Dinu Patriciu, a Romanian oil tycoon who is on this year's "Forbes" list of the world's wealthiest persons.

Voronin said Patriciu asked Filat last month to repay the money. He said Filat then prepared 10 truckloads of cigarettes to be sent to Romania. Voronin said only two trucks made it over the border while a third was stopped by Romanian customs officials. He did not say what happened to the other trucks.

Filat called Voronin's allegations "rubbish" and said he has no time to respond to such things.

Patriciu told the Romanian media that he has no ties whatsoever with Filat and did not finance his campaign.