The Romanian Police, as well as the ones in Italy, Spain, France and Hungary, are conducting on Tuesday more than 150 home searches in order to document the criminal activity of an organized group dealing with illegal fishing, acquisition and selling fish unsuitable for consumption, the Police General Inspectorate (IGPR) informs. 30 tons of fish have been seized, the value of which reportedly amounts to about RON 600,000, digi24.ro reports.
“Romanian policemen, as well as those in Italy, Spain, France and Hungary, are conducting more than 150 home searches to document the criminal activity of an organized group dealing with illegal fishing activities, purchase, transport and marketing of fish unfit for consumption. In Romania, Police has implemented 115 such home search warrants in Bucharest and the counties of Constanta, Calarasi, Dambovita, Arges, Ilfov, Tulcea, Prahova, Braşov, Brăila, Buzău, Valcea, Giurgiu and Maramureş. The Romanian policemen are accompanied by representatives of the Spanish National Police. In turn, Romanian policemen take part in similar actions taking place in Italy, Spain, France and Hungary,” IGPR announces.
The searches are coordinated by EUROJUST and EUROPOL.
The group, consisting of hundreds of people (Romanians, French, Italians, and Hungarians), has set up a real mechanism for illegally purchasing fish from abroad, for its transport and subsequently for its marketing in Romania.
“It did not work by a pyramidal system, on the contrary, it operated on several levels, with different groups established, depending on the object of activity (fish poaching/freight transport/marketing, etc.). The fishery products were obtained from the territorial waters of Italy, Spain and France where fishing was prohibited, the fish in those areas being unfit for consumption. Subsequently, the quantity resulting from the fish poaching was stored and transported without a veterinary-sanitary authorization, as required by the European and Romanian legislation in the field. Bringing fish to Romania was allegedly done by using fake documents, the members of the group making intra-community acquisitions, through Romanian companies engaged in the marketing of fishery products, set up to serve the criminal activity,” the police say.
In this case, criminal prosecution in rem has begun.