The National Anti-corruption Department-DNA announced on Tuesday that it had opened a criminal inquiry against Conservative Party leader Dan Voiculescu and other five people under money laundering charges on March 30. The six are investigated in a case that has been separated from another one involving suspected frauds at the Romanian national lottery.

Dan Voiculescu, a businessman-politician who says he passed all his his businesses to his family years ago, is charged along daughter Camelia Voiculescu, Mihai Lazar (head of Voiculescu’s Grivco SA company), businessman Gheorghe Copos, Roza Giulio-Giusepe (head of the Ana Holding company) and Adrian Cristea, a former account manager.

Dan Voiculescu said on Tuesday that the charges against him were “stupid” and “aberrant” and said “Voiculescu and his family never did anything illegal”. He said he stopped doing business in 2002 and that he was the victim of political struggles currently taking place in Romania.

A DNA press release says the first five are charged with money laundering, while Cristea is charged for participation in fake bids.

Gheorghe Copos, a businessman who among others controls the Rapid football club and who joined the Romanian government in 2005 and withdrew last year, is accused of laundering part of the money obtained illegally from the the use of 38 commercial areas by the Romanian Lottery.

The money was transferred through the personal accounts of Dan and Camelia Voiculescu as well as through Grivco accounts, according to a DNA press release.

The criminal case related to the frauds at the National Lottery and from which the new one was separated was concluded in summer 2006 with the prosecution of Gheorghe Copos and four other people.