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November 24, 2022

Traffic inspectors in Cluj, including vice-chairman of PNL Cluj, detained for corruption

Prosecutors at DNA Cluj detained Rares Pop, chief regional inspector with the State Inspectorate for Road Transport Control (ISCTR) and vice-chairman of PNL Cluj, on Thursday for corruption, according to DNA officials. Claudiu Crisan, managing inspector with the Cluj County Bureau of ISCTR, was also detained in connection with the same case and DNA has requested that both men be remanded in custody for 30 days. Rares Pop was charged with blackmail, accepting bribe, abuse of office in continued form resulting in undue benefits, engaging in trading activities incompatible with his position, and allowing unauthorized parties access to classified information. Ioan Radu Dohotar, managing inspector with the Bistrita-Nasaud County Bureau and member of the ISCTR board, is also under investigation, Agerpres reports.
DNA claims the collected data and evidence point to suspect Pop having repeatedly attempted to influence traffic inspectors between 2012 and 2014 in their traffic control routines, either together with or through the use of county bureau managing officials such as suspects Dohotar and Crisan. At ISCTR level, the regional Inspectorate run by Rares Pop is in charge of the following counties: Alba, Bihor, Bistrita-Nasaud, Cluj, Maramures, Satu Mare, and Salaj.
“By way of these actions, the suspects would request that legal sanctions against road transport users not be taken so as to protect certain companies which posed an interest for the county inspectors. (…) Suspect Pop developed relationships with numerous economic agents active in the field by promising them protection in exchange for patrimonial benefits attained either directly or by forcing them to resort to the services rendered by companies owned by him via relatives or acquaintances or owned by family members,” a press release published Wednesday on DNA’s website shows.
According to the cited source, since he was appointed in the summer of 2012, Pop’s managerial responsibilities in the companies under his administration had been transferred to his wife, but her associate status was merely formal. Evidence suggests that Rares Pop was the leader as he continued to help make decisions about company clients and service prices by phone.
During that same period, the suspects failed to comply with their obligation to keep inspections confidential and repeatedly informed economic data transport operators on the place and time at which traffic checks were to be performed at their headquarters, or disclosed information which could lead to the identity of denouncers who complained about regulation violations.
In December 2013, Pop claimed and received RON 1,500 from two denouncer witnesses in exchange for his goodwill and help with check-ups to be carried out by subordinate inspectors.
According to DNA, on March 27, 2014, representatives of the Alba County Inspectorate performed a check-up at a gymnasium in order to verify the transport license and how the teaching unit ensured transport with an Aro car. “The inspection team made up of two inspectors drew up a fact-finding report which recorded that the vehicle was not equipped with a tachograph and speed limit indicator, as per regulations. Based on this report, the school was fined RON 9,000 and bound to remedy the violations. As a result, suspect Pop asked the managing inspector of Alba County to annul the report and perform the inspection with a new team who would not record the irregularities or else he would be demoted.

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