The prosecutors allege that Stoica offered to lawyer Doru Bostina EUR 3 M to buy the latter’s pretended influence through intermediaries over the general manager of competitor CFR Marfa.
The owner of the Grup Feroviar Roman (Romanian Railway Group GFR) Company Gruia Stoica has been arrested for 29 days on Thursday and indicted for active trading in influence related to a tender held by the Oltenia Energy Complex. In the same case, prosecutors have ordered Doru Catalin Bostina, one of the most famous lawyers in Romania, not to leave the country; he is charged with trading of influence.
Gruia Stoica was escorted in handcuffs to DNA’s offices on Wednesday night, after resisting to police officers. According to sources within the judiciary, Gruia Stoica had been ordered to appear before DNA prosecutors on Wednesday, but he notified that he was out of Bucharest. Police officers went to his home, but Stoica refused to come out of the house, so the investigators had to obtain a house search order to take him into custody.
According to a release on DNA’s website, in May 2013, the Oltenia Energy Complex Company of Targu Jiu launched a public tender procedure for signing a framework agreement and subsequent contracts for ‘coal transportation on railroad’ for its power plant subsidiaries of Craiova, Isalnita and Turceni (southwest). On January 17, Oltenia Energy Complex sent invitations to bid; the state-owned railway freight operator CFR Marfa and GFR were among the recipients. The tender referred to coal transportation over a 3-year period, starting on April 1, 2014, worth RON 473,068,410 (more than EUR 100 M), VAT not included.
The prosecutors allege that on January 22, 2014, businessman Gruia Stoica, representing the Bucharest-based GFR Company, offered to lawyer Doru Bostina EUR 3 M to buy the latter’s pretended influence through intermediaries over the general manager of competitor CFR Marfa, to make him disclose the bid of his company at the aforementioned tender, thus breaching his office duties. This approach was aimed at allowing GFR to formulate a bid as close as possible to CFR Marfa, to maximize the profit or minimize the possible losses throughout the contract.
According to conversations tapped by anticorruption prosecutors, Gruia asked lawyer Bostina about who has more influence with the Transportation ministry back then, Minister Relu Fenechiu or state secretary Calin Gaurean. Initially, Gruia Stoica asked Doru Bostina if he still is in good relations with the person who was state secretary of the Ministry of Transportation (MT) in 2013: “Tell me, you were in good relations with a state secretary from the Transportation (ministry), Gaurean, weren’t you?” Following the affirmative answer of Bostina, Gruia Stoica went on asking “how well he still controls the manager of Transportation, the big one” (reference to the general manager of CFR Marfa). The lawyer could not give a concrete answer, but promised that he would “deal with it,” prosecutors wrote in the quoted documents. Gruia Stoica told Doru Bostina that he must learn who “supports” the manager of CFR Marfa, Dragos Draghici, and the person should call him and tell him: “Friend, this is not good, you risk nothing… I’ve been to 10,000 places and nobody died from this, yes? And if you leave, you leave happy!” According to the tapping, Gruia had asked ex-Transportation Minister Fenechiu ‘a 5 minutes meeting’, Fenechiu answering he is not in Bucharest, but in Iasi.
The group controlled by Gruia Stoica last year wanted to buy the majority stake in CFR Marfa, but the transaction failed. The sale of 51 pc of CFR Marfa to Grup Feroviar Roman could not be finalised until the deadline of 14 October 2013, because some lender banks of CFR Marfa did not give the go-ahead to the change of shareholders and the Competition Council did not have enough time to pronounce on the transaction.
As a consequence, DNA concludes that Gruia Stoica had an unscrupulous attitude and overtly manifested his criminal mentality, using all his relations to obtain significant sums of money, so leaving him free might be interpreted as encouraging these “criminal practices.”
The manager of CFR Marfa, in coma after stroke
The general manager of CFR Marfa, Dragos Draghici, whose name appears in the file in which the owner of GFR was detained on corruption charges, in relation to an auction at CE Oltenia, underwent surgery at the Elias Hospital, following a stroke, and is in coma at the Intensive Care ward.