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UPDATE: House searches in Romania and Austria: 12 people officially accused

Published on

This is an update for the press release "160 house searches ongoing in Romania", published on 28 June 2022.

 

Following the investigative activities and the house searches in Romania and Austria on 28 June 2022, the European Public Prosecutor’s Office made official accusations against 12 people for:

  • participation in an organised criminal group,
  • the use or presentation in bad faith of false or inaccurate documents or incomplete statements, if the deed results in the unjust obtaining of funds from the general budget of the European Union, illegal obtaining of national funds,
  • money laundering

Against the 12 defendants, including  four  civil servants, a pre-trial detention for a period of 30 days was proposed. The case is submitted to the Judges for Rights and Freedoms within the Bucharest Municipal Court.

It is important to mention that in order to obtain EU and national funds for personal benefit, the defendants acted in very ingenious ways. For example:

  • Declaring the existence of small and medium production enterprises in abandoned homes or belonging to elderly people;
  • Using photos of the same equipment allegedly purchased in several project files submitted to obtain funds;
  • Payment of fictitious services between companies controlled by group members;
  • Fictitious employment, only in writing, repeatedly, of the same people in several companies that submitted documentation in order to obtain EU or national funds.
  • Making external payments to an Austrian company controlled by the members of the group under the pretext of purchasing equipment or for invoices with unreal content.

Following yesterday's searches and without yet having a complete inventory,  a significant amount of proof was seized, as well as tens of thousands of euros, luxury vehicles and a firearm. The procedures for seizing real estate, goods and the sums of money of the defendants up to the value of the damage are underway.