A recent Sky News report showing Romanian "arm dealers" ready to sell their weapons to anybody interested, including terrorists, appears to be fake, according to judiciary sources largely quoted by Romanian media on Wednesday. As prosecutors were raiding locations in Central and Northern Romania in relation to the Sky News report, the head of Romania's anti-terror and organised crime body, DIICOT, said claims that the Sky story was staged by the British journalists appeared true.
Judiciary sources quoted by news agency Agerpres said DIICOT prosecutors were raiding locations in the regions of Targu Mures and Bistrita Nasaud, all linked to the Sky report. Several people were taken to hearings, including one who appears to be the man who made the connection between the Sky News team and the alleged "arm dealers" in Romania.
An inquiry is said to have been launched over allegations of arms dealing and breaches of weapon regulations.
Euractiv.ro quotes documents according to which the man who linked the Sky team with the Romanian "dealers" was a Romanian who worked for another TV channel in the UK. He accepted money to convince people at home to pretend to be arms dealers ready to sell weapons to terrorists.
According to the sources, the Romanians appearing in the Sky report appear to have also been paid to speak lines given to them by journalists and pretend they would sell weapons including AK-47s.
The judiciary sources quoted in the media said the weapons were all legally owned and were hunter guns - including a modified AK-47 which would only be able to fire single rounds.
DIICOT chief Daniel Horodniceanu said on Wednesday that the whole Sky report appeared to be "a scenario" conceived by the British journalists.
Digi 24 news channel quoted British journalist and author of the report Stuard Ramsey that he met the Romanian arm traffickers because they inspired "trust" and claiming they were not opposed to be filmed because they did not fear local authorities.