Vaslui PSD baron Dumitru Buzatu arrested for corruption

DNA prosecutors officially accuse him of taking RON 1.25 M bribe.


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The president of the Vaslui County Council, Dumitru Buzatu, Social Democrat Party (PSD), was detained by the anti-corruption prosecutors, after he was questioned on Friday night at the headquarters of the National Anti-Corruption Directorate (DNA) in Iasi. The searches at his house in the Ştefan cel Mare commune lasted several hours.

On Friday evening, Buzatu was caught red-handed receiving a bribe of 1.25 million lei for awarding a public works contract, according to judicial sources.

According to the prosecutors, “during May 8, 2023-September 7, 2023, the defendant Buzatu Dumitru, in the capacity mentioned above, allegedly demanded from a businessman (the witness in question) sums of money, representing a percentage of 10% of the value of a public procurement contract that the latter had concluded with the Vaslui County Council and which had as its object the rehabilitation and modernization of some roads in Vaslui County so that the contract would be carried out in good conditions (payment of invoices). In the context mentioned above, on September 22, 2023, the defendant Buzatu Dumitru would have received the sum of 1,250,000 lei”.

The businessman from Cluj had denounced Buzatu since February.

Buzatu was caught red-handed by the prosecutors on Friday night while receiving the bribe of RON 1.25 million. According to the prosecutors, the investigators found the money in the trunk of Dumitru Buzatu’s car, after he received it in a restaurant.
The chief of Vaslui County Council met the business who was supposed to bring him the near a fishing pond near his home, in Vaslui county. According media, it was a place equipped including a restaurant, located on the shore of the lake. Buzatu even caught some fish, say sources close to the investigation, before meeting the businessman.

The money was given in a bag. In the trunk of the car driven by the president of the County Council, 25 stacks of 500 lei banknotes were counted. The money was photographed and the series of the notes were compared with those previously noted in the documents of the investigators. In preparation for the sting operation, our data shows that we are talking about the same series, money from DNA’s sting fund – a piece of evidence considered essential by investigators in this case.

Asked by the reporters what happened while he was being detained by the prosecutors, Buzatu replied: “What do you want me to tell you? I see you are well informed”.

Buzatu ousted from PSD

PSD leaders met on Saturday morning as an emergency in the meeting of the National Political Bureau, to decide the exclusion from the party of Dumitru Buzatu.

The social democrats decided in the meeting at the party headquarters to exclude Dumitru Buzatu and also his ex-wife, senator Gabriela Crețu, from the PSD. At the same time, Marcel Ciolacu declared that he took note of the resignation of Tudor Buzatu’s son from the position of state secretary.

We took three decisions, namely the exclusion of Mr. Dumitru Buzatu from the PSD, the appointment as interim president of the Vaslui PSD organization of the vice-president Dragoș Benea. I took note of the resignation from the position of secretary of state of Mr. Buzatu Tudor, and I also proposed to my colleagues the suspension as a member of the PSD of Mrs. Crețu Gabriela, senator“, said Marcel Ciolacu after the PSD meeting.

Asked if he was surprised by the fact that Dumitru Buzatu was caught red-handed accepting bribes, the PSD president answered: “Certainly, like everyone else.”We did not expect this“, added Ciolacu.

He says that he is glad that the state institutions “function totally independently”, emphasizing that as he has never commented on a decision of a magistrate, he will not do so either “in this case, in which it is as obvious as possible”. Ciolacu admits that PSD’s image is affected. “I firmly believe that it affects. Any act of corruption affects the image of any party. But I think that the decisions of the party and the reaction of the party and my colleagues and myself, personally, was the right one. All decisions were taken with unanimous votes”, Ciolacu also said.

The rich chief over the poorest county

Dumitru Buzatu, head of the Vaslui County Council and leader of the PSD organization in Romania’s poorest county, is one of the most long-lived and influential social-democratic local barons in Moldova. From 1992 to 2000, Buzatu was deputy for Vaslui on the PDSR lists, and between 2000 and 2004 he held the same position from the PSD. Later, from 2004 to 2012, the social-democratic politician was vice-president of the Vaslui County Council, and from 2012 to today he is the head of the County Council. The members of his family had a similar path in politics.

Gabriela Crețu, the wife of Dumitru Buzatu, was both a member of parliament for Vaslui and also a member of the European Parliament, from the PSD, and their son, Tudor Buzatu, is, from the beginning of 2022, secretary of state in the General Secretariat of the Government.

Dumitru Buzatu is also recognized for the controversial statements he made over time. In 2017, at the protests against the GEO 13, Buzatu said that he was part of the “Taliban wing” of the PSD and that he was not interested in “even 100,000 ragalii (e/n referring to protesters) brought from somewhere”.

In 2020, when in Vaslui county the cases of COVID-19 increased alarmingly, Dumitru Buzatu questioned the existence of the virus and refused to wear a mask in the meetings of the County Council, reasoning that “no one has proven that the mask is a cure-all”.

Dumitru Buzatu owns 9 plots of land in Vaslui and Suceava, of which 4 are obtained through sale and purchase, and 5 through “other means”. Four of the lands are agricultural and total more than 100 hectares, two others are forestry, two are urban, and another is in an unspecified category.

At the same time, 2 of these 9 lands are owned in shares, together with his wife and four other people. In addition to these, the politician has 5 buildings, built in the Zapodeni commune, the largest having 520 square meters, 386 square meters and 196 square meters, and the others being under 100 square meters.

According to his wealth statement, Buzatu also owns two cars, a boat and a caravan. Regarding the accounts, the PSD baron of Vaslui has three bank accounts totaling around 100,000 lei and a loan due in 2026, worth 205,202 lei. Buzatu also took care of his son, Tudor, who received by donation in 2022 from his father a building, an urban land and an agricultural land.

As for the income collected by Buzatu in 2022 – those from the capacity of president of the CJ, from the pension and the allowance from the Parliament for the age limit -, they totaled over 330,000 lei, according to the same wealth declaration.

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  1. Panagiotis Spyridis says

    Yes OK good but the PSD should be more careful who they recruit because otherwise they will never see Governance again.

  2. Mr Rearguard says

    WOW! What a surprise, not!

  3. Silviu says

    I thought Romania has changed since communist times.
    Good job D.N.A.

    1. Panagiotis Spyridis says

      It has not changed. It is rooted in the young generation also. I was refused sugar in two of these neo hipster speciality coffee places in Bucharest Historic Center. They said it was there policy. I said you are dictating to me the usage of sugar. I told them this was only in Tsausescu times.

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