619 searches were conducted countrywide, in an unprecedented action against organized crime groups. The move comes as the coronavirus pandemic has determined many underworld leaders to return to Romania from Western European countries. Almost 400 suspects have been seized and taken to hearings.
“I chose this day – ‘D’ day, because it will be easy to remember for those who will analyze the activity of the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MAI). ‘D’ day, 11.11. Romania. (…) It is the biggest action performed by the MAI in recent years for countering crime in Romania,” said Interior Minister Marcel Vela on Wednesday.
3,000 police staff, gendarmes, border guards conducted 619 actions, with 489 searches and 130 raids.
“The 130 raids were for the enforcing arrest warrants pending trials and some European arrest warrants. 21 criminal groups dealing with drug trafficking, human trafficking, migrant trafficking, pimping, economic crimes, usury and blackmail were targeted”, the minister said.
According to Vela, the damage caused by the 21 criminal groups mounted to RON 190 million and 160,000 euros.
“Of the 489 searches, 386 are on organized crime, 36 in the judiciary area, 46 on economic and financial crime and 21 on crimes related to weapons and ammunition,” Vela detailed.
Among the suspects taken to hearings there is also businessman Alexandru Bodi, the right-hand man of a famous interloper Adrian Tamplaru, leader of an organized crime group who was trafficking young girls from Romania to Western countries, where they were forced into prostitution.
According to DIICOT, the victims who were send abroad but refused to become prostitutes were kidnapped and were subject to extreme violence, even rapes, in order to be stopped to fight back.
The young women from Romania were mainly exploited in nightclubs or rented locations in Germany, in such cities as Berlin, Bonn, Stuttgart and Frankfurt, but also in other EU countries as Italy, Spain, UK, Czechia, Switzerland and Austria.
Other 69 searches were conducted in Constanţa, Mangalia, Ovidiu and Eforie Nord, Eforie Sud, Tuzla, Techirghiol, Agigea in a case targeting an organized crime group specialized in drug trafficking ad money laundering.
In Bucharest, there were searches in cases of blackmail and loan-sharking.
18 searches took place in Dolj, Dolj, Vâlcea, Ilfov and Bucharest in a case of cybercrime, with a prejudice mounting to 1 million euro.