Criminal records at the Directorate for Driving Licences
A total of 14 people are being accused of giving or taking bribes and influence peddling in a case concerning driver’s licences illegally issued in Bucharest.
Articol de Octavian Coman, 13 Ianuarie 2011, 19:41
Raids and criminal records at the Directorate for Driving Licences and Vehicle Registration in Bucharest. This is the most recent scandal connected to the way driver’s licences are issued in Romania.
The prosecutors began criminal investigation against 14 persons, and sources close to the investigation declared for Radio Romania that, among these people, five are employees of the Directorate for Driving Licences.
All five of them are being suspected of influence peddling, and also giving and taking bribe for issuing licences. Wednesday morning, the investigators searched the homes of four suspects in this file.
The information so far shows that 24 persons should be interrogated in this case. According to the spokesman of the Prosecutor's Office attached to the Trial Court of Bucharest, Bogdan Staicu, the crimes of the investigated persons had to take place in the interval June-December 2010.
‘At this point the persons brought to the Anti-Corruption General Directorate are being interrogated. Following these hearings, prosecutors conducting the criminal investigation will decide whether they should take a cautionary measure, or not’, declared Bogdan Staicu.
At the heart of the suspicions of having issued illegal driver's licences are also employees of the Directorate for Driving Licences and Vehicle Registration in Bucharest. So far, the official number of people hasn't been communicated. Sources close to the investigation claim that there should be five employees. As the Radio Romania editor, accredited at the Ministry of Interior, found out, several offices in the Directorate for Driving Licences and Vehicle Registration in Bucharest have been searched and several computers have been collected.
This is not the only investigation of this kind, aimed at the trade with driver's licences. The best known case is the one in the Argeş County. Almost two years ago, several policemen and employees of the Directorate for Driving Licences and Vehicle Registration in Argeş have been detained by anti-corruption prosecutors.
The employees in the Directorate for Driving Licences had clients which were either working abroad, or could not write, or did not even live in Piteşti. Those who wanted a driver’s licence without examination would first obtain a residence visa in Piteşti. The amounts of money ranged from two to ten thousand euros. Among the clients we can mention the Mayor of District 4 in Bucharest, Cristian Popescu Piedone.
Subsequently, the Minister of Interior gave the order to revoke the 3,500 driver's licences, which were suspected to have been illegally obtained in Piteşti. According to Mediafax, fourteen persons arrested in the licences case in Argeş have been released from jail in August 2009, after the judges of the High Court upheld their appeals. Eight other arrested people have been released the same month.
At that point, the measure of cautionary custody was replaced with the prohibition to leave the country. Another 100 employees of similar organizations in other ten counties have been targeted by investigators for the same offenses. After Argeş, the scandal moved to Iaşi, where 45 policemen in Traffic were accused of taking bribe and work abuse, informs us the editor of Radio România, accredited at the Ministry of Interior. In another case, handled by the Anti-Corruption Directorate in Cluj, persons who fraudulently obtained driver's licences in Hungary have been discovered and detained.
Translated by: Manuela Stancu
MA Student, MTTC, Bucharest University