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Priest, accused of cigarette smuggling

A priest from a township in Arges county is accused of cigarette smuggling, after the police conducted searches in the church, belfry, baptistery and in the closets in the churchyard, as well as at the priest’s and his parents’ homes, Mediafax reports.


“I am at the investigators’ disposal, but I declare myself innocent, and I consider the operation an abuse. They searched the belfry because the man who reported me told them I kept the cigarettes there. They even searched the church, the chests where the holy vessels and the vestments are kept, but they couldn’t find a thing. They went searching the church annexes, but there were no cigarettes to be found, and, to my mind, only a pagan could claim a priest keeps cigarettes in the church,” the priest Cristian Stancescu stated.
The priest argues the police action was an abuse, but he won’t file a suit against the Romanian Police and the state, adding he merely wanted to see the report which “tarnished his image”.


The police officers in Arges confirmed the priest was under criminal investigation initiated by the Arges Court Prosecutor’s Office. “He is the target of a criminal investigation into potential ownership of unstamped or inadequately stamped cigarettes,” the chief agent Laura Folea, spokesperson for the Arges County Police, stated.


Representatives of the Arges and Muscel Archbishopric claim they have no knowledge of this case and were not advised of the case in which the priest Stancescu stands accused. (A. B.)

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