The head of the Iași Customs Office, Dănuț Bolohan, two customs officers and a businessman were detained by the DNA in the customs corruption case. According to prosecutors, the head of customs and his subordinates allegedly received bribes to favor a number of companies importing textile products from Turkey, so that they would declare lower values at the border to pay lower taxes, and the control of imported goods would be formal or non-existent.
The National Anti-corruption Directorate (DNA) announced on Thursday that Dănuț Bolohan, head of the Iași Border Customs Bureau, was detained for five crimes of bribery, Simona Andreica, customs official, for complicity in bribery, Cristian Timofte, customs official, for giving of bribery, and the administrator of a company, also for bribery. Also, another customs officer was placed under judicial control for 60 days, for bribery. The three detained persons are to be taken to the Iași Court with a proposal for preventive arrest for 30 days.
More precisely, the investigators accuse them of taking bribes in the conditions where the counterfeit goods coming from Turkey were not checked, and the rounds were set specifically for the products to enter the country with the help of corrupt customs officers. A fee of $300 was required for each truck that entered customs, and the head of customs allegedly collected $24,500 in bribes. The total damage in this case mounts to over EUR 11.6 million, namely 58 million lei damage to the state budget resulting from the non-payment of customs duties.
The prosecutors showed that, in the case, there are data and evidence that outline the fact that between January 2022 and until now, officials from the Border Customs Office in the city of Iasi (internal customs), in exchange for receiving sums of money, and – would have performed his duties in a defective manner in order to favor a number of commercial companies that import textile products from Turkey. “Through these trading companies, articles of clothing, sports clothing and footwear and counterfeit perfumes were allegedly imported, the goods being transported with trucks registered in the name of the respective trading companies, as well as with tractor-type vehicles and semi-trailers registered in Turkey, Poland or Slovakia.
By the way of action, the customs officials would have created the conditions in which the administrators of the commercial companies evade the payment of customs duties in the sense that the values declared in the customs are lower than the real ones, and the control of the imported goods is formal or non-existent. The control was done only on documents, without the actual verification of the goods”, say DNA prosecutors through a press release.
The goods thus imported would have been used in commercial centers or specialized stores in the counties of Iasi, Suceava, Botoşani, Ilfov, Sibiu, Arad, Ialomiţa and the city of Bucharest.
The “tax” that would have been requested for each truck that entered customs would have been approximately 300 dollars.