The former mayor of Baia Mare, Cătălin Cherecheș, was detained by the police on Tuesday evening in the German city of Augsburg. Cherecheș crossed the border into Hungary on Friday morning at 07:49 through the Petea customs, using an identity card belonging to a relative.
According to the latest information, Cherecheș was attempting to leave Germany. He traveled with an aunt by car, reaching speeds of nearly 200 km/h. The two arrived at a train station and were trying to get rid of the vehicle, possibly to catch a train. It was at this moment that he was apprehended by Bavarian police.
“On the evening of November 28, 2023, as a result of international police cooperation and the exchange of data and information between the Romanian Police and authorities in Germany, Hungary, Austria, and Italy, a 45-year-old man from Baia Mare, internationally sought, was located, identified, and detained by Bavarian police and the BKA in Augsburg. He was traced by external partners based on information provided by the Romanian Police. The competent court issued a warrant for the man for the execution of a 5-year prison sentence for the continuous commission of bribery. We thank internal and external partners for their support in capturing him. Further specific procedural activities are ongoing for bringing the man back to the country,” the Romanian Police stated.
Cătălin Cherecheș crossed the border into Hungary on Friday morning at 07:49 through the Petea customs, Satu Mare county, said representatives of the Border Police in a press conference on Saturday. The mayor of Baia Mare left the country just a few hours before judges definitively sentenced him to 5 years in prison for bribery.
In the photograph taken by German police at the time of apprehension, Cherecheș is shown with injuries on his face and traces of blood, with the German Police explaining that he attempted to resist arrest, he fell and hit his chin. At the time of capture, he was behind the wheel of a Mercedes Benz C Klasse AMG, according to judicial sources who spoke to HotNews.ro.
According to the cited judicial sources, at the time of his apprehension, Cătălin Cherecheș had the following amounts of money on him: 3,265 euros, approximately 150 euros in forints, and approximately 320 euros equivalent in lei.
Justice Minister Alina Gorghiu stated on Wednesday that the fugitive Cătălin Cherecheș can be brought back to the country within 10 days if he agrees to surrender, according to the framework decision. In the second scenario, if he refuses, the term is 60 days. She specified that the decision to surrender does not belong to the Romanian state because we are not allowed to interfere with the justice system in Germany. It exclusively belongs to the German court where the fugitive was found. Gorghiu also mentioned that Germany ranks second in terms of the number of individuals extradited to Romania, following the United Kingdom.