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February 9, 2023

Two top union leaders prosecuted for embezzlement

The headquarters of policemen and customs trade union was searched by anti-corruption prosecutors yesterday after-noon. Pro Lex trade union boss claims his innocence, says the ‘Queen’ on the customs corruption chess board is an influent Democrat Liberal.

Pro Lex union leaders Vasile Lincu (photo) and Florin Ilie Vilnei are suspected of embezzling RON 1.2 M (EUR 285,000) with the assistance of Pro Lex Treasurer Negoita Voinea, the investigations having being started by the Romanian Police. Judicial sources told Mediafax yesterday that a complaint had been registered by the Romanian Police General Inspectorate (IGPR) in 2010 indicating various irregularities at the Pro Lex trade union. In September 2010, the case was taken over by the Criminal Investigations and Criminalistics Department of the Prosecutor’s Office of the High Court of Cassation and Justice. The damage the three union heads allegedly caused is evaluated at approximately RON 1.2 M. The offences were reportedly committed at the end of December 2009 and in the course of 2010. Lincu and Vilnei are under investigation for appropriating money and Voinea for fictitious book-keeping entries. The evidence administered by investigators shows amounts have been paid from the funds of the national union of policemen and customs workers as royalties without the legal requirements being met.


‘When I was leaving my home today, prosecutors came there where the union headquarters also are based to look for accounting appears and documents about the union, documents that I do not keep at home. I can produce them, though, because I have nothing to hide’, Vasile Lincu said. He refused to specify if the home search was related to the recent accusations he had made about customs smuggling and his statements on a so-called corruption chess board which have led to the latest debate on who the ‘King’ – or the mastermind behind customs system corruption – could be. ‘On the computer they want to take there is exact information about the Queen, but I don’t think they will have the courage to disclose the name, because it is a very important political personality from PDL. I was afraid to speak until now. I am narrowing down the circle if I name the position of this person”, Lincu told Realitatea TV yesterday.

Recently, ANAF President Sorin Blejnar has been repeatedly accused by both opposition politicians and former customs employees of being the ‘Queen’ on the customs corruption chess board, accusations he has always denied.

‘To a certain extent, messages have been sent to me that I should not make any more statements in the mass-media’, Lincu said, without nominating anyone.

The Anti-Corruption Directo­rate General and the Natio­nal Anti-Corruption Directorate are conducting investigations into the alleged commission of corruption offences by customs workers and border police staff and almost 200 workers of important customs points along the Eastern and Western Romanian border have been arrested since the beginning of February.

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