Deputy Chief Prosecutor of the Directorate for Investigating Organised Crime and Terrorism (DIICOT) Oana Daniela Patu, who is also in charge of DIICOT, said on Wednesday that in 2022 the total value of impounded assets in court trials neared RON 680 million, eight times higher than in 2021.
DIICOT released its 2022 activity report, an event also attended by Justice Minister Catalin Predoiu, Attorney General Gabriela Scutea, Deputy Chair of the Supreme Council of Magistrates Daniel Horodniceanu, and other officials of Romania's national system of defence, public order and national security.
"In 2022, measures aimed at limiting the access of organised crime groups to financial resources were intensified, with the total value of the impounded assets through liens in closed court cases being almost RON 680 million, eight times higher than in 2021. These values are all the more relevant since, unlike before 2016 or even in the years immediately after changes in jurisdiction, these amounts no longer come from economic and financial macrocrimes, but from the summation of assets impounded in increasingly more traditional organised crime investigations," said Patu.
Regarding criminal prosecution, Patu said that in 2022 there was an increase by 3,210 in cases to be settled, which was 11.69% higher annually, and an increase by 2,303 in newly registered cases, which was 17.68% over 2021. The average caseload per prosecutor increased from 143.06 in 2021 to 154.94 in 2022, an 8.30% increase.
"Even with a historical peak in the caseloads, the prosecutors were able to solve 13,549 cases, as against 12,120 in 2021, which is an increase by 1,429 cases, or 11.79% as against 2021," according to Patu.
In terms of celerity, Patu says that the criminal prosecution in about 50% of the solved cases was completed within one year from referral, with 173 cases being solved after the statutes of limitation expired, down 20.64% from the previous year. In 141 cases sentences were issued against unidentified perpetrators.
"Same as in the previous year, the largest share was held by cases of drug trafficking and operations with psychotics (64.74% - 17,783 cases out of 27,468 cases), followed by cyber-crimes (18.39% - 5,052 cases out of 27,468 cases) and trafficking and exploitation of vulnerable people (5.51% - 1,513 cases out of 27,468 cases)," said Patu, adding that 1,058.72 kg of drugs was impounded in 2022, including 426.99 kg of high-risk drugs.
"At the same time, in 2022, high-risk drugs in the form of 509,684 tablets, 7,826 litres and 1,414 doses were also confiscated. Regarding the situation of cannabis crops, in 2022, 6,641 plants/crops were seized of a total weight of 652.58 kg, as well as 176.93 kg of plant fragments containing THC," the deputy chief prosecutor also points out. AGERPRES