What the newspapers say: May 25, 2011
Evenimentul zilei quotes sources saying that Interior minister Traian Igas has known about the involvement of his general secretary Laurentiu Mironescu in the fiscal evasion scandal in Constanta since January. However Igas denied and launched an internal investigation at the minister’s intelligence service.
He said that he was not informed and that an investigation will settle who is to blame. He said that he would have dismissed Igas if he would have been informed of his involvement in such a criminal network. Together with Mironescu, another 27 persons including former and current chiefs of local customs across Constanta county and customs officers were indicted.
Apparently the group was monitored since 2010 and investigators managed to find out that for each merchandise container, a bribe between 1000 to 7000 dollars was offered. According to anti graft prosecutors the group would introduce 1000 containers/month. In 2010 there were 353,711 containers registered.
A simple computation reveals that the annual minimum bribe was 350 million euro but it could well reach 2.5 billion.
Romania libera reads about the well structured organization that managed to evade the law for so long. Anti graft prosecutors discovered a well structured criminal network, on six pillar, in which each member knew in detail its tasks. One pillar was called external protection referring to PDL Senator Banias and former general secretary in the Interior ministry Laurentiu Mironescu who had to secure their men in the key positions and avoid any controls.
Plus, PDL Senator would also intervene to secure that the Port of Constanta received more funds. Another pillar, leadership and control who settled the way the money will be split and how much would they pay in bribes.
A third pillar, command and coordination was made up of all customs chiefs or any other person with a management position who settled the details of imports that need to be protected: what kind of merchandise, when they arrive, where they need to be transported and the methods to avoid controls and tax payment.
Anti graft prosecutors also found another three pillars of execution in the customs system where simple customs workers were involved.
Gandul reads that anti graft prosecutors discovered, through transcripts of phone conversations that there might be another man involved, up the social ladder. The newspaper reads that one of the men involved told another on the phone that the “man at the end of the tunnel is upset”. Anti graft prosecutors think it might be Sorin Blejnar, president of the national fiscal administration but no one named any names so far.
Gandul reads that Italian PM Silvio Berlusconi is expected in Bucharest next week for talks with his Romanian counterpart and an inter-governmental reunion among ministers of the two government, official sources declared for Mediafax. The visit is scheduled for two days. A previous similar reunion was organized in Rome in October 2008 and lead by Berlusconi together with former PM Tariceanu.