German Judges Decide to Incarcerate Fugitive Mayor Cătălin Cherecheș in Augsburg-Gablingen Prison. The Former Mayor of Baia Mare, sentenced to five years in prison, resisted arrest by Bavarian police, sustaining minor injuries during the operation. The police tracked him step by step after he changed SIM cards but not his phone. They nearly caught him in Austria, but due to misinformation, the former mayor managed to evade capture.
Police realized late that he left the country on November 24 around 8 a.m. The arrest warrant was issued at 6 p.m., officially putting him on the wanted list. He left for Budapest, and on the way, according to the taxi driver who took him, he stopped twice to pick up personal belongings, carrying only a small bag.
In Budapest, around 1 p.m., he was located while attempting to buy two SIM cards. He tried to insert them into the same phone but failed to activate them. He then went to a hotel in Budapest’s Central Square, had mulled wine, and contemplated his next move. He asked the bartender to arrange a car to take him directly to Germany, agreeing to pay €1,400 in cash. Thus, he crossed into Austria, and by the 26th, he was already in Ulm, Germany, at his aunt’s house. Police located him on November 26 in Munich, reviewing all surveillance cameras in the area and questioning the person who took him to Germany.
On the 26th, he stayed at his aunt’s residence and didn’t leave the house. On the 27th, when the police knew he was in Germany, his aunt attempted to mislead them, claiming she wanted to drive to Austria to divert attention from his actual intention to travel further to Italy. On the 28th, at 6 p.m., Cherecheș was captured in Germany. He attempted to flee, injuring himself in the process.
The testimony of the taxi driver who transported him from Hungary to Germany significantly aided the investigation.
“There were two operational moments when they were very close to capturing him, but a citizen provided false information at one point. This measure, requested by Romanian police from the Hungarians, to interrogate the taxi driver who returned from Germany and see exactly where he was dropped off, was very inspired,” said Romanian Interior Minister Catalin Predoiu on Digi 24.