Anti-corruption prosecutors conducted 20 searches yesterday in Bucharest, including the Cantacuzino Institute, the Polizu Maternity Hospital, and Health Ministry headquarters. The investigation focuses on civil servants and doctors who presumably awarded preferential contracts funded by the WB and EIB.
Early yesterday, prosecutors with the National Anticorruption Directorate (DNA) carried out searches at the Ministry of Health headquarters, the Cantacuzino Hospital, and the Neonatology Association in connection with corruption charges related to various purchases, for the neonatology program included.
According to a DNA press release, anticorruption prosecutors are investigating the case on “suspicion of acts of corruption and related infractions committed between 2008 and 2011 by civil servants in the form of procurement procedures conducted through publicly and externally funded programs.”
“At present, a criminal investigation is being conducted in the case strictly relative to the collected data; no person in particular has been prosecuted,” the press release notes further. The European Commission’s Anti-fraud Office (OLAF), together with the Fight Against Fraud Department, Romanian Intelligence Service (SRI), and the Special Intervention Brigade of the Gendarmerie have assisted and provided expertise to prosecutors in their investigation.
After the news surfaced in the press, Ministry of Health (MH) representatives stated that the DNA prosecutors’ search focused on those documents from the contracts pertaining to medical equipment purchases made between 2007 and 2008 through a program financed by the World Bank (WB). In turn, Iulian Brezean, manager of Cantacuzino Hospital, mentioned that documents connected to the national neonatology program under his management were verified and searches were conducted at the office of the head of the Neonatology Clinic in the latter’s presence. “The prosecutors told us their investigation at the Cantacuzino Hospital only focused on the neonatology program, not on other problems,” Dr. Iulian Brezean said.
Sources: Civil servants and doctors presumably awarded preferential contracts to Dutch company
Judicial sources cited by Mediafax claim that civil servants and doctors who were members of contract awarding commissions allegedly granted preferential contracts financed by the WB and the European Investment Bank (EIB) to a Dutch medical company in exchange for goods and services. The same sources argue that yesterday’s searches also focused on the Polizu and C.C.Iliescu hospitals, in addition to the Ministry of Health, Neonatology Association, and Cantacuzino Hospital.
According to the quoted sources, the DNA investigation is being conducted in collaboration with British and Dutch authorities and examines the manner in which a Dutch medical company provided goods and services to civil servants by way of contract awarding. ‘Renowned doctors’ who were part of contract awarding commissions have also been implicated in the investigation. The doctors were presumably co-opted by bidding commissions “to offer weight to the decisions made,” the cited sources have said. No particular suspects in the case have been mentioned.