Bucharest’s District 5 Mayor Marian Vanghelie, currently suspended from office, was arraigned by the National Anticorruption Directorate (DNA) on Tuesday in the case in which he is accused of malfeasance in office, passive bribery and money laundering, some of the crimes being committed by favouring the companies of businessmen Marin Dumitru in the process of awarding public contracts. Marian Vanghelie is under preventive arrest since March 14.
In the same case, businessman Mircea-Sorin Niculae has been arraigned for complicity to passive bribery and money laundering; Sorin-Stefan Ciocan has been arraigned for money laundering; District 5 Economat Director Laura Ciocan has been arraigned for complicity to passive bribery and money laundering. All three are remanded on conditional bail.
Likewise, prosecutors have also arraigned Marin Dumitru for active bribery.
According to the prosecutors’ indictment, from 2006 to 2014 District 5 Mayor Marian Vanghelie, aided by Mircea-Sorin Niculae and partially by Laura Ciocan, asked and received from Marin Dumitru undue material benefits worth approximately EUR 30.4 M, representing a “commission” of 20 per cent.
Investigators claim that the undue benefits mentioned in the indictment consisted of cash, the signing and implementing of economically unsound contracts with companies controlled by or linked to Vanghelie, the ceding of shares and implicitly of a company’s patrimony toward persons named by the suspended mayor and the transfer of the ownership of two villas to a person named by Marian Vanghelie.
Likewise, election campaign expenditures were covered, hand watches were gifted, sponsorship contracts were signed with Bucharest’s District 5 Mayoralty in order to financially support public events that brought electoral capital to Marian Vanghelie, and money were paid to persons that drafted signature lists in support of Vanghelie’s candidacy in the European Parliament elections.
According to the DNA indictment, on 7 July 2010, a company controlled by Marin Dumitru offered to the District 5 Mayoralty, as sponsorship, 6,489 six-litre bottled water containers and 2,304 six-litre mineral water containers (goods worth RON 26,000), in order for them to be distributed to disaster victims in Botosani County.
“On 9 July 2010, a Social Democrat Party delegation (led by PSD President Ponta Victor-Viorel and including PSD Vice President Dragnea Liviu and defendant Vanghelie Marian-Daniel) visited the areas affected by the floods that took place early that month in Botosani County. On that occasion, the goods delivered by defendant Dumitru Marin were handed over to the victims of the disaster; one can notice that the sponsorship offered to the District 5 Mayoralty was used for political purposes, improving the image of defendant Vanghelie Marian-Daniel and of the party whose member he was,” the DNA indictment reads.
Moreover, prosecutors show that other “undue benefits” consisted of: covering the costs of renovation works at sites indicated by Marian Vanghelie, covering the costs of renovation works on stores owned by a company controlled by the suspended mayor, and covering the costs of private parties.