Hundreds of Romanian students abandoned in airports abroad following alleged camp scam. Criminal file opened

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Almost 150 Romanian students from Gorj have been abandoned in airports in Italy ad Japan by a foundation that had organised trips abroad. The head of the association, a teacher from Targu Jiu, has gone missing.

72 high school pupils who were returning from U.S. have found out while on stopover in Milan that they have no accommodation and plane tickets to Romania. Their parents had to cover these expenses, although they had paid them to the trip’s organisers.

Other 76 pupils have gone through a similar situation in Tokyo. The Romanian Foreign Ministry (MAE) has intervened and the Romanian consulate in Milan waited for the children at the airport and helped them. Romania’s Embassy in Japan also took over the case, to help other pupils to get back home.

Part of the students in the camp in Tokyo, Japan, has left for Romania this morning, with a stopover in Vienna. A representative of the Romanian Embassy to Austria will be at the airport to provide them the necessary assistance to get on board to Bucharest“, a MAE press release informs.

The other high-school pupils in Tokyo are leaving this afternoon on the route Tokyo-Doha-Bucharest.

The students who returned from the U.S. camp spent a whole day on the airport in Milan, being on the move for more than 2 days.

Outraged, parents tried to contact on social media the head of the association that organised the trips, “Young Partners For Civil Society Development”,  but the teacher closed down the Facebook page, posting a message before that said all the association’s projects are suspended. After that, the man has gone missing.

His wife, who accompanied the group of pupils in the U.S., has confirmed her husband has just been gone  missing and that she has no news about him.

The man taught history at one of the best schools in Targu Jiu, „Constantin Savoiu” secondary school. However, he has not been teaching too much in the past 4 years, as he was on paternal leaves twice.

Parents say they have paid EUR 1,000 for their child’s camp in the U.S. and Japan, covering expenses for accommodation and meals.

Tourism Ministry notified, NGO fined in the past

Romanian Tourism Ministry has been also notified ex officio on this case, ordering urgent checks at the NGO’s HQs in Bucharest and Targu Jiu. It seems that the association had not filed any documents so far in the view of obtaining the tourism license to function.

Moreover, it seems that the Tourism Ministry inspectors sanctioned the “Young Partners For Civil Society Development” NGO in 2017, by a RON 30,000 fine for being operational as a tourism agency without holding a tourist license.

The association used to organise trips under the pretext of camps for children. The check came following a complaint filed by a parent who had been discontent about the conditions of the camps, arguing the children were at risk in that camp.

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