Large scale police raid in Bucharest, Iasi and Constanta

Police is searching several works of art supposed to have been
sold on the black market in Bucharest. 200 works of art confiscated, damages estimated at EUR 400,000.

Police officers conducted five searches in Bucharest yesterday, targeting art galleries and the houses of art dealers, in an effort to uncover the theft of several works of art from the ‘Dr. Petru Groza Memorial House’ in Deva, Realitatea TV informs, quoting a Police communiqué.

During the raids, two paintings that belong to national patrimony before being stolen (Nicole Grigorescu’s ‘Peisaj’ and Nicolae Darascu’s ‘Peisaj din Delta’) were uncovered. A third painting, signed by Romanian painter Nicolae Grigorescu, is still searched at countrywide and abroad. A total of 200 works of art were confiscated, as they were not certified by legal papers. The investigators are to check if the works were stolen. Among the seized works, there is a painting featuring a woman, signed by a Magyar painter.

The Romanian Police informed that on October 29, 2010, a successor of Dr. Petru Groza notified it that three of the paintings belonging to the private collection in the memorial house had been stolen by unknown persons, being replaced with contemporary forgeries. Police managed to identify the main suspects, the members of the crime group being investigated for theft and for being an accessory to theft. The damages were estimated at EUR 400,000.

The evidence gathered so far shows that the paintings were sold on the black market, being bought by two persons in Bucharest. At the same time, the searches conducted on March 9-18 in Timisoara and Bucharest identified and confiscated nine other items – five valuable Romanian paintings and four religious icons. The members of the crime group had no paperwork for the aforementioned items and it was believed they came into their possession through foul play.

Searches were conducted by Directorate for Investigating Organized Crime and Terrorism (DIICOT) prosecutors in Iasi too. Their goal was that of eliminating a crime group that dealt with human trafficking, contraband with cigarettes from the Republic of Moldova and various thefts. According to Mediafax, some of the crime group’s members were detained on Wednesday night in Roznov, Neamt County, while they were trying to steal money from an ATM. They were taken in for hearings at the DIICOT headquarters in Iasi.

Prosecutors conducted searches in Constanta too. The searches there targeted two buildings and were part of a child pornography case. An Italian citizen is accused of posting child pornography images on the internet. The prosecutors also discovered that the Italian citizen was downloading child pornography files and was then distributing them online to those interested. Italian citizen on trial for the crime of child pornography was arrested last night for 24 hours by DIICOT prosecutors.


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