Officials of the National Citizenship Authority and of the Bucharest City Hall targeted in an investigation regarding citizenship acquisition

Translated and edited by EUDO CITIZENSHIP expert Andrei Stavila

Officials of the National Citizenship Authority (ANC) from the Ministry of Justice and officials of the Bucharest City Hall are under investigation for illegally granting citizenship. This investigation is the largest one regarding citizenship acquisition since December 1989.

Prosecutors of the Department for Criminal Investigation (SUPC) arrested three persons for illegally granting Romanian citizenship to Moldovan citizens. On Wednesday and Thursday investigators raided 32 places, the investigation has so far targeted 36 persons. Of these, 15 are intermediaries between the National Citizenship Authority (ANC) and the Moldovan citizens who have applied for Romanian citizenship, judicial sources said. The investigation also targeted officials of registration offices and of the ANC. The sources quoted said that employees from the First District of the Bucharest City Hall are under investigation.

Romanian investigators went to Moldova to help their colleagues in this case. This assistance started with a simple information offered by the Romanian Intelligence Service (SRI).

According to the quoted sources, the investigation started five months ago.

In their raids on Wednesday investigators found significant amounts of money and documents.
On 2 February 2012 and, 1 March 2012 prosecutors of the Department for Criminal Investigation (SUPC) (…) carried out house searches in Bucharest and its surroundings – that is, in cities like Chitila, Otopeni and Teleorman. 36 people are investigated for offenses of influence peddling, bribery, receiving undue benefits, etc. and 32 locations are searched. .
According to investigators, to circumvent the laws, Romanian and Moldovan intermediaries have developed a method for granting Romanian citizenship and obtaining passports and visas for residing in Romania (especially in Bucharest) for various Moldovan citizens for payments between 500 and 1,000 Euros or other benefits.
"So far prosecutors ordered the preventive measure of detention of three persons for a period of 24 hours and a preventive obligation for two people not to leave town," says the source.
At the time of transmission of this news (on 1 March 2012) over 50 persons are currently investigated and will be investigated throughout the day at the Prosecutor Office.

Read the full text on Mediafax.ro (in Romanian).