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September 19, 2020

Fiscal body head heard at DNA

Blejnar states that he was subpoenaed as a witness.

Sorin Blejnar, head of the National Agency for Fiscal Administration (ANAF), arrived yesterday at the National Anti-Corruption Office (DNA) headquarters where he was subpoenaed as a witness in the Constanta Agigea Customhouse corruption file, a file in which Senator Mircea Banias and former secretary general of the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MAI) Laurentiu Mironescu are being investigated. Blejnar arrived at the DNA in order to give statements about the persons that mention his name in the phone taps.

When leaving the hearings Blejnar told the press that he was subpoenaed as a witness and that is a normal thing considering that investigations are being carried out and things have to be clarified. Asked whether he is the “big boss” mentioned in the phone taps, Blejnar answered: “Yes, if we strictly consider that the customs, the financial guard and the public finances are subordinated to ANAF and I could say that I’m the big boss within ANAF. (…) I don’t think one could talk about corruption just because they mention the big boss. According to the phone taps the big boss reprimanded them (the heads of the Constanta customhouse – editor’s note). I reprimand them daily and when I’ll get back to my office I will continue to reprimand them because I am very demanding,” Blejnar stated, being quoted by Mediafax. The head of ANAF denied one of the investigators’ claims that he went on a trip to the US with Liviu Durbac, head of the Constanta South Agigea Customhouse Office. Blejnar claimed that Democrat-Liberal Senator Mircea Banias did not ask him to put an end to his hostile attitude towards certain persons, arguing that a hostile attitude or lack thereof has to do with professionalism. “I am not hostile or non-hostile on the basis of requests,” he pointed out.

In his turn, Senator Mircea Banias stated yesterday that he does not know what connection there is between the persons indicted in the file and the head of ANAF. “I don’t know what connection could be made between Mironescu or another person indicted in this file and Mr. Blejnar. In what concerns me, the only thing that the prosecutors strangely interpreted as reflecting a connection between me and Blejnar was a single phone conversation in which Blejnar’s name is briefly mentioned,” Banias told Realitatea TV.

Anti-corruption prosecutors claim that Senator Mircea Banias promised Eugen Bogatu last July that he will convince ANAF President Sorin Blejnar to give up his negative attitude towards Liviu Durbac, head of the Constanta South Agigea Customhouse Office. Banias also allegedly promised Eugen Bogatu he will make representations to Iulian Tudor and Transport Minister Anca Boagiu “in favor of a business issue the two discussed previously.”

According to the ongoing investigation, Sorin Blejnar’s name also appears in the talks that two other indicted persons had. The talks focused on Sunai Cadar’s intention to pull out of the “organized crime group” because of “internal dissidence,” the DNA investigators claim. The talks took place on December 24 last year between Tudoran Dragos Iulian, an associate within SC Container Clearance Services SRL Constanta, and Liviu Bratu, deputy chief of the Constanta South Agigea Customhouse Office. The two state that Liviu Durbac, head of the Constanta South Agigea Customhouse Office, will talk with Blejnar “there,” “on the 26th.” “During that period defendant Liviu Durbac and ANAF President Sorin Blejnar were in the US,” the investigators point out.

“Dishonest statements”

The anti-corruption prosecutors revealed yesterday the motivation of their request to extend the preventive arrests. The prosecutors argued that the defendants made false statements. “Throughout the criminal prosecution all defendants (those that did not use their right to remain silent) made profoundly dishonest statements and fabricated uncanny explanations for the phone conversations tapped, conversations that most of the time took place in code, a code created by the organized crime group precisely in order to make difficult or to prevent the discovery of the truth,” the prosecutors’ report reads. At the same time, prosecutors state that some defendants, including Cadir Sunai, exhibited a propensity towards destroying evidence.

Prosecutors state that the merchandise confiscated from the customhouse, merchandise that Democrat-Liberal Senator Banias donated to the National Association of Hearing Impaired Persons, was taken to the association’s headquarters by PDL Constanta representatives, Senator Mircea Banias being present when the merchandise was distributed.

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