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January 21, 2022

Ceahlau, robbed of 33 hectares of forest, media

The mayor of the Ceahlau commune in Neamt County, and a famous businessman from the town of Bacau stole 33 hectares of forest belonging to the commune, according to jurnalul.ro. After the story surfaced in the media, justice is trying to prevent the massive deforestation of this area located near the Ceahlau National Park.

In 2005, the mayor of Ceahlau, Costica Schiopu, together with the Local Council, transferred the Boistea Rotunda forest from the public domain to the private property of the commune, and later he used it to guarantee a loan of USD 130,000. The money was borrowed by the Rustrans company controlled by Bacau-based businessman Viorel Rusu. As the Local Council failed to repay the credit, Rusu sent a court executor to put the forest on public auction. The winner of the auction was… Rustrans.

The wood of the forest has been valued at RON 1,731,900, but it was sold for less than a quarter of this price. A probe by Neamt Police led to the indictment of 25 people for embezzlement and misuse of authority. Furthermore, the Neamt Court of Audits ruled that the loan was granted illegally and reported the case to the Bacau office of the National Anticorruption Directorate (DNA). After it became the legal owner of the forest, Rustrans sought a license to cut nearly 6,000 cubic meters of wood, but it received only for 1,000.

In October 2009, the Neamt Tribunal annulled the Local Council decision, but the businessman appealed the verdict at the Prahova Tribunal, which will try the case on 19 September 2011, although the appeal has been filed at the end of December 2010. By that time, the whole Boistea Rotunda forest will have disappeared.

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