17 customs officers at the Border Crossing Point in Albita were detained by DNA (National Anticorruption Directorate) prosecutors for taking bribe and influence peddling, following hearings conducted Tuesday evening at County Police headquarters in Vaslui, Mediafax notes. The 17 customs officers were scheduled to be taken to the courthouse in Vaslui yesterday to be subsequently remanded in custody. Investigators decided to post unconditional bail with restriction to leave the country in the following 30 days for two border law enforcement officers and a customs officer. Three other persons – a customs employee and two border law enforcement officers – were charged, but prosecutors have not made a decision in their case. However, Livia Saplacan, spokesperson for DNA, claims the investigation was broadened to include five other customs officers who are also on unconditional bail. Thus, the number of Albita employees implicated in this corruption file has reached 28.
27 searches were conducted Tuesday morning at the Customs Office in Albita and road traffic was completely blocked. In a press release issued Tuesday evening, DNA stated that 23 customs employees are being criminally investigated, as searches raised suspicions of customs officers and border law enforcement officers having claimed and received between RON 20 and EUR 50 in exchange for allowing access across the border to persons who were transporting packages to and from the Republic of Moldavia. The money was then presumably cashed in by customs employees between May and October 2013. In exchange for the amounts claimed and received, prosecutors claim the customs officers and border law enforcement officers performed formal inspections of the respective packages sent via Romania from Italy to the Republic of Moldavia or vice versa.