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Criminal group using usury, pimping money, to win public works tenders under investigation

Inquam Photos / Octav Ganea

Prosecutors with the Directorate for Investigating Organized Crime and Terrorism (DIICOT) and judicial police carried out 42 home searches on Wednesday morning in Bucharest and the counties of Giurgiu, Braila, and Arges in an attempt to dismantle a large criminal group that was active mainly in Giurgiu County and accused of criminal activities, including winning public works tenders (asphalting, roads and bridges) under the National Local Development Fund (PNDL) using proceeds derived from pimping and usury, agerpres reports.

According to a DIICOT press statement, the group was specialised in illegal gambling, pimping, human trafficking, sexual intercourse with a minor, aggravated theft, concealment, bribe taking and bribe giving, embezzlement with particularly serious consequences, instigation to the abuse of office, misrepresentations in official documents, misrepresentations in documents under private signature, use of such documents, computer fraud, false statements, driving without a licence, violations of weapons and ammunition regulations, usury and computer hacking.

Prosecutors claim that a criminal group has been restructured and operating in the city of Giurgiu since 2018, a group that poses a high degree of social danger in terms of crimes committed, number of members, local influence, ability to act as well as of its large criminal proceeds.

DIICOT prosecutors researched part of the group in 2017 and 2018, proving the criminal activity of about 40 members to form an organised criminal group in order to commit pimping, usury, money laundering, human trafficking, and high-risk drugs trafficking, with cases being at various stages of court trial.

Evidence used in these cases shows that after being sent to court, some of the members regrouped and resumed their criminal activities, acting on several levels of organised crime in Giurgiu County and also in other areas of the country, as well as in other European Union countries, aiming to quickly gain large proceeds of crime, which were then laundered in various ways, with its members committing almost any crime if any opportunity to make a profit would arise.

Conducting the investigation are officers with the Bucharest Police, the Directorate for the Investigation of Economic Crime, the Directorate for Combatting Organised Crime, the Directorate for Explosive Weapons and Dangerous Substances and the National Institute of Forensics with the Romanian Police.

As many as 51 people relevant to the ongoing investigation will be brought to the DIICOT headquarters for interrogation.

Assisting with the investigation are gendarmes of the Special Response Brigade of the General Inspectorate of Romanian Gendarmerie.


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