Brigitte Sfat, the girlfriend of former tennis player Ilie Nastase, appears in the transcripts of the phone taps that are included in a criminal file concerning cigarette smuggling from Serbia, realitatea.net informs, quoting pressalert.ro. Bombeto Pascaline Esther, the wife of an advisor working for Congo’s Embassy in Belgrade, is also involved in this file, having been caught using a diplomatic car to illegally transport cigarettes from Serbia.
According to the aforementioned source, everything happened on the night of May 27 when Brigitte used a phone number registered on Ilie Nastase’s name to call Roxana Carstea, the wife of Dumitru Carstea. The latter is known as ‘Gigi Olteanu’ in the world of cigarette smugglers. Sfat sought to talk to ‘Olteanu’ himself, the aforementioned sources inform.
Intervening on Realitatea TV, Brigitte Sfat denied any involvement in the file, pointing out that the only ties she has with Roxana Carstea stem from the fact that she is the godmother of Carstea’s daughter. “She is the mother of the girl I christened. Our relations are average. I didn’t know about the cigarette smuggling,” Sfat stated. In what concerns the “money for the Serbs” (an expression used during the phone conversation tapped by the investigators – editor’s note), she claims they represented the payment of Serbian workers that Dumitru Carstea had brought. “I think they wanted to hurt Ilie (Nastase – editor’s note). I have nothing to do with smuggling. I have a quiet life,” Brigitte Sfat concluded.
In his turn, Dumitru Carstea denies any involvement in cigarette smuggling. “I’m innocent. (…) I have nothing to do with Brigitte. It’s about the parlor in Timisoara, she left me money to pay the Serbs. She left them at the parlor. (…) It’s about the Serbs that were working at the parlor,” Dumitru Carstea stated.
So far it cannot be said whether Brigitte Sfat is involved in cigarette smuggling or not. This would not be her first offence however. According to Mediafax, in 2003, back when she was only 25 and was the owner of a club in Timisoara, Sfat was arrested for being an accessory to kidnapping and theft. Along with three other persons, she sequestered a local club manager in her office and forced him to pay her EUR 5,000 that he allegedly owed her. She was subsequently sentenced to three years in prison and was released on parole in 2006. Afterwards she married Ovidiu Torj, a known gang member. The two divorced four years later.
Ilie Nastase angry at DIICOT
Ilie Nastase is angry because the Direction for the Investigation of Organized Crime and Terrorism (DIICOT) prosecutors tapped his phone while keeping a tab on Brigitte Sfat. “My girlfriend has nothing to do with cigarette-smuggling. They are twisting things and I don’t know why they tapped my phone. I want to go now to DIICOT and ask them why my phone was being tapped. Am I a terrorist? This isn’t right. I’m not a threat to Romania. (…) I want a record of all my phone conversations, to see how many times they had my phone tapped. If I find I said something which is harmful to the nation or did anything wrong, I’ll go and turn myself in. However, if it turns out I didn’t do anything wrong, I’m going to sue and ask for hundreds of millions in damages from these bastards, because this is what they are,” Ilie Nastase told “Q Magazine”.
Wife of congolese diplomat sent to court
On the same day in which the information concerning Brigitte Sfat appeared, the Directorate for Investigating Organized Crime and Terrorism (DIICOT) prosecutors announced that the wife of the Congolese diplomat was sent to court along with three Serbian citizens and four Romanian citizens for cigarette smuggling. The Timis Court will take a final decision in this case. The defendants are accused of smuggling significant quantities of cigarettes from Serbia to Romania in 2011. The cigarettes were smuggled in a diplomatic vehicle in order to avoid searches at the border and were then stored in various locations owned by the members of the crime group. According to the prosecution, the cigarettes were then sold in Timis County.