A former member of the Moldovan parliament has been arrested amid allegations he spied for Russia, according to news reports on March 19 that cited unidentified law-enforcement officials.
Iurie Bolboceanu has been in custody since March 17 after a search of his home that was aimed in part at gaining access to information on mobile phones and other devices, the Interfax news agency reported, citing an arrest warrant.
Bolboceanu maintained contact with people interested in obtaining information of national importance, including with the aim of "destabilizing the socio-political situation in the country," the warrant reportedly said.
According to Interfax and news site mewsmaker.md, the warrant claimed that Bolboceanu had been in contact with an aide to the military attache at the Russian Embassy in Chisinau.
The reported arrest comes amid heightened concerns about Russian influence in Moldova, a small and poor former Soviet republic bordering Ukraine and Romania.
The government warned officials earlier this month not to travel to Russia, citing what it said was abuse and harassment by security officers that it believes are retaliation for its probe into an alleged $22 billion scheme to launder Russian money through Moldova.