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January 28, 2023

Constanta Mayor Radu Mazare detained for bribe taking

Street protest in Constanta, to support the mayor.

The mayor of Constanta, Radu Mazare (PSD) was detained for 24 hours, Tuesday night, by the National Anticorruption Directorate (DNA), together with businessman Morgenstern Avraham who allegedly bribed the mayor with EUR 175,000 in order to win an auction.
Mazare was brought in on Wednesday afternoon in cuffs to the Supreme Court, for the ruling over the 30-day preventive arrest proposal. The judges had not ruled anything till the closing hours of the edition.
According to DNA, the money was received in instalments, through a hidden circuit that involved accounts open by offshore companies. Judiciary sources quoted by Mediafax said yesterday that a member of the Parliament is also targeted in the file, more precisely, Radu Mazare’s brother, Alexandru Mazare. The sources did not mention the name of the lawmaker, but explained that the arrest proposals will be judged by the supreme court, because a MP is involved. Before the DNA building, Mazare stated: “This is a political file. I wanted to build for the poor and this is what I receive. Shame on you, Traian Basescu! I took no bribe, else I would have constructed expensive, not cheapest.”
According to the arrest warrants, at the beginning of 2011 mayor Radu Mazare started the Programme of building modular dwellings in the Social Campus “Henri Coanda”, approved by decision of the Local Council of Constanta. As this project started, Avraham Morgenstern, as representative of a company, wanted to secure the winning of the auction that was to be organised. “In 2011, (Morgenstern) gave the mayor of Constanta, Mazare Radu, the total sum of EUR 175,000 so he facilitates the winning of the tender for the construction contract of the social campus, worth EUR 40,964,030 VAT exclusive (some EUR 10 M). The money, received in instalments, followed a hidden circuit that involved accounts opened by offshore companies in foreign banks situated in places known for the restrictive conditions of international judiciary cooperation in criminal cases,” DNA informs.
In exchange of this money, prosecutors claim that Mazare made some decisions that pertained to his job, such as initiating local council decisions that approved various phases of the acquisition procedure or others that favoured the company represented by Morgenstern. Some of the most important initiatives taken by the mayor in favour of the respective company were those through which, at Morgenstern’s request, it was approved the increase of the value of the acquisition contract with the sum of RON 3,722,910 VAT exclusive – about EUR 900,000, by decision of the local council, initiated by Mazare.
Dozens of Constanta inhabitants who currently live in the social complex invoked in the file protested Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning against the arrest of the mayor. The inhabitants of the campus shouted slogans against the DNA and President Traian Basescu and assured Radu Mazare of their support. A similar rally was to be held in front of the Constanta City Hall. Approximately 3,000 people live in the social campus Henri Coanda.
The wealth of Mazare: Land in Madagascar, motor boat, EUR 300,000 and shares in companies
According to the latest wealth statement posted last year on the site of the Constanta Municipality, Radu Mazare owns a land in Madagascar, taken under concession with one of his brothers, an apartment in Bucharest, a motor boat, nearly EUR 300,000 cash, shares in several companies, and has lent EUR 600,000 to a natural person. In Madagascar, Mazare took in concession, together with his brother, 1.7 hectares of land. He spent several holidays in Madagascar and was planning to go there for this Easter too. Moreover, Mazare said that he wanted to build 7 bungalows and a restaurant on his Madagascar estate. In the document, the mayor of Constanta mentions that he does not own jewellery or art and cult objects.

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