Police officer in coma after he was attacked with a sword during searches in a drug trafficking file

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A police officer from the Special Actions Service (SIAS) in Suceava was injured on Monday morning during searches in a drug trafficking file conducted in Radauti, northern Romania. The police officer was attacked by a suspect in this case with a sword. He is in coma admitted to the Neurosurgery Hospital in Iasi, having serious injuries at his head and arms. The hospital spokesperson, doctor Tudor Ciuhodaru, he is in critical condition, with reserved prognosis.

35-year-old Dan Ciprian Sfichi is deputy chief agent at SIAS Suceava. He is from Radauti and has been working in the Police for the past 12 years. He is married and has two little girls. His father used to be a policeman, and his brother is in the Police as well.

Apparently, the agent was not wearing the protection helmet during the incident, with his superiors checking this, as they say the troops had been equipped with bulletproof vests and helmets. “At the time of the intervention, the police officers had their equippment at hand, three of the agents were wearing the protection helment, the wounded colleague had no helmet, although he had it in his equipment. I ordered checks,” said Bogdan Despescu, chief inspector of the Romanian Police.

According to the investigators, the owner of the searched house hasn’t answered the special forces’ requests to open the door, so so SIAS troops had to attck in force. Police officer Sfichi was injured on his head with a machete. The aggressor, Alexandru Hutuleac, has been detained. The man had also been arrested in July 2016 for drug trafficking, but he was released under judicial control after four months and in October this year the judicial control has been seized as well.

Hutuleac was charged with setting up a drug smuggling network that used to provide ethnobotanicals for over 300 youngsters in Suceava. The group sold ethnobotanicals worth over RON 3 million. In 2016, five people were placed under preventive arrest and another six under judicial control.

Investigations identified 22 members of the smuggling group who has been selling ethnobotanicals in Suceava for 3 years.

At that time, Alexandru Huţuleac, who was the second most important member of the criminal group, refused to collaborate with the Police. Yet, he managed to get away with detention after four months.

Interior Minister: It’s important to adopt measures to protect policemen in missions

We are mobilized to do everything we can to save the police officer (…) Maybe now, at the last hour, we’ll be able to understand how important is to adopt a series of measures to protect police officers during missions. Maybe speculations that we want to give increased powers to the policemen will stop,” Interior Minister Carmen Dan told Digi24.

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