Ex-PSD ministers heard in the Arad customs office bribes case

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Former PSD Interior minister Mihai Fifor, and Răzvan Cuc, former Transport minister have been subpoenaed to the National Anti-corruption Directorate office in Timisoara to be heard in the customs office bribes case of PSD Arad in which extensive searches had been conducted the other days.

Upon leaving the hearings, Mihai Fifor said he had been heard as a witness in this case, that he has nothing to hide and that he had always observed the law and supported any investigation activity. He also said he knows nothing about the deeds investigated in this case.

Former Transport minister Razvan Cuc and SocDem MP, Luminita Iovan, leader of PSD branch in Caras-Severin, also came for hearings today.

Both Fifor and Cuc were mentioned in the wire taps in this file.

The investigation in this case started one year ago, starting from some hints on the bribes allegedly paid for the scale in Nadlac 2 customs office, which is a mandatory stopping point for all the trucks leaving Romania. Sources close to the investigators revealed the bribes had ranged from EUR 5 to EUR 100 so that customs officers should close their eyes if a truck was too loaded.

Investigators said that part of the bribes would have got to some of the chiefs of Timisoara Regional Department of Roads and Bridges (DRPD), led by Ispravnic. He was endorsed to take this position by the leader of PSD Arad, deputy Dorel Căprar.

So, Ispravnic and other chiefs of DRDP would have forces the customs officers to ask truck drivers for bribe.

According to wire taps, Bogdan Munteanu, the Head of the revenue office of DRDP, defendant in this file, revealed that ex-Transport minister Razvan Cuc would have been aware of all this bribe network and that he would have even reproached that the money collected from bribes are given to the PSD Giurgiu faction, which was at war with him: “But the Fat (nickname for Razvan Cuc) told us to our face, you make money and give it to Badalau and Mina”.

The discussions and testimonies of the defendants so far brought to light the information that the customs officers politically named in these positions and endorsed by the PSD had to pay monthly taxes to the DRPD cash register, with the value of the sums being reported to the hierarchy of every position. Investigators claim that the money from bribes went to the PSD.

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