The Mayor of Baia Mare, Cătălin Cherecheș, is reported to be in Italy, according to Digi24 sources. Currently, the European arrest warrant has not been executed.
Chereches is said to be on an island with his mother and wife, according to Digi24 sources. He managed to escape just an hour and a half before the final verdict in his trial. He was a passenger in a taxi and pretended to be his cousin. Italian police must go and find him and execute the European arrest warrant.
Cătălin Cherecheș is internationally wanted after fleeing the country. He left Romania in a taxi at the Petea Border Crossing.
One of the surveillance cameras at Petea captured the car with which the Baia Mare mayor left Romania at 7:42 a.m. Very scared and panicked. This is how Cătălin Cherecheș was described by the taxi driver who helped him escape from Baia Mare. The mayor hurriedly got into the car, carrying only a briefcase. He wrote “Satu Mare” on the windshield and signaled to leave. The driver with whom he left Baia Mare, who has known the mayor for 4-5 years, also said that the mayor was very scared and panicked.
His escape prompted several dismissals in the police. Six chiefs from the Border Police, the Romanian Police, and DIPI (the secret service of the Ministry of Internal Affairs) are leaving their positions after the scandals regarding corruption in customs and the escape of the convicted mayor Cătălin Cherecheș.
There are many famous convicts who have fled to Italy and either stayed there or were extradited.
Former minister and mayor Darius Vâlcov is the first famous fugitive whom Romanian authorities managed to bring back from Italy in August, where Mario Iorgulescu, Alina Bica, former SRI officer Daniel Dragomir, or businessman Dragoș Săvulescu sought refuge to avoid imprisonment. Former chief of Neamt County Council, Ionel Arsene is also in Italy.
Europa Liberă reported on a method by which, in recent years, an increasing number of politicians or businessmen convicted by Romanian courts have managed to avoid imprisonment. While seeking political asylum is one recipe for Greece, another recipe for Italy involves paying taxes, opening companies, hiring expensive lawyers, and successfully avoiding extradition by invoking the unsuitable conditions in Romanian prisons, especially after the law was amended in 2021.
The exodus of those definitively convicted from Romania to Italy was, until 2021, a guarantee of avoiding imprisonment based on a permissive law. After the norm was changed, Romanian convicts plan their escape by obtaining residency and establishing businesses on Italian soil, as reported by Europa Liberă.