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Bucharest
May 22, 2022
JUSTICE

DNA on water utility Apa Nova case: Former intelligence staff worked for Apa Nova Bucharest to spy, wiretap

Apa Nova Bucharest used to have a security service made of former intelligence officers to spy and wiretap the National Anticorruption Directorate (DNA) file informs, with the proposition of preventive arrest of Costin Berevoianu, former counselor of the Bucharest Mayor, of former National Liberal Party (PNL) treasurer, Vlad Moisescu and of businessman Ovidiu Semenescu.

According to the source, through this security service Apa Nova Bucharest wanted to avoid the disclosure by the company’s employees of data capable to reveal the illegal activities of its supervisors.

“Of utmost importance is also the fact that at the the Apa Nova Bucharest Company level a security service was set up, formed by former staff of the intelligence services, who perform spying and wiretapping in the interest of the persons who control the economic operator and try in this way to keep under control the disclosure by the company’s employees of data that might have exposed the illegal activities operated. Also to keep the confidentiality of the illicit activities performed by this company, confidential banking accounts were set up through which payments to certain designated persons (Bruno Roche and Lalague Laurent) are made,” say the DNA Ploiesti prosecutors.

According to the quoted document, the evidence tabled by the investigators have revealed the intent to make up documents so as to be presented as justification for the payments done and to offer them a feature of legitimacy, considering that these documents did not exist when the DNA officers have raided and took over official papers from the Apa Nova and Veolia Apa Servicii Companies.

“Moreover, the evidence shown the possibility of hiding certain documents based on which allegedly illegal payments were made,” the prosecutors add.

Moreover, they say that this matter “seriously” harmed the French-Romanian strategic partnership transposed at economic level in a public-private association, and the leeching of Apa Nova’s operations has led to higher prices of water and sewage services paid by Bucharesters.

The anticorruption prosecutors demand the arrest of the three defendants in the file, showing that their illegal activities spanned on a long period of time, up until now, the peril for the public order being “current and concrete.”

There is also evidence that the defendats are part of a complex criminal scheme, with the purpose to commit corruption acts, and the dissolution of this mechanism involves the mandatory isolation of all persons on whom there is evidence that they have committed criminal acts such as those retained in this cause, so that the prosecution unfolds in an efficient manner, the DNA asserts.


Former Bucharest mayor aide Berevoianu, businessmen Moisescu, Semenescu placed under judicial control

Former personal aide to suspended Bucharest mayor Sorin Oprescu, Costin Berevoianu and businessmen Vlad Moisescu and Ovidiu Semenescu will be placed under judicial control in the water utility Apa Nova case, with the ruling pronounced by Prahova Court on Friday not being final.

The court magistrates dismissed a proposal of Ploiesti-based National Anti-corruption Directorate (DNA) of remanding the three in custody and decided to place them under judicial control. The ruling has already been challenged by the prosecutors.

The three persons were detain Thursday night, following hearings and searches that the inquiry body conducted at several homes and headquarters of companies based in Bucharest.

Semenescu, who manages several firms, is charged with influence peddling (two counts) and influence-buying (two counts), while Moisescu, currently under judicial control in another case, and Berevoianu, a personal aide to Oprescu during 2008 – 2015, are accused of influence peddling.

According to a DNA release, over 2008 – 2015, the three used their influence with representatives of Romanian public institutions (mainly Bucharest City Hall, Bucharest City General Council and Bucharest District 1 Local Council) to the benefit of the economic agents part of a foreign group of firms, in exchange obtaining significant amounts of money from their representatives. A

DNA Ploiesti prosecutors seized documents from Bucharest-based Apa Nova, from Bucharest District 1 Mayor’s Office and from Bucharest City Hall, while also carrying out five searches at the headquarters of several commercial companies in a case involving influence buying and influence peddling committed during 2008-2015.

Semenescu is suspected of influence peddling in favour of Apa Nova by means of Moisescu and Berevoianu, as both of them had important connections in the local public administration, according to judicial sources.

For several years, Semenescu, in his capacity as unofficial Romanian-based representative of a group of firms used his relation with Moisescu and the influence the latter had in Bucharest’s District 1 Mayor’s Office in order to obtain contracts with public institutions. In exchange for his services, Moisescu allegedly received consultancy contracts for a company he controlled, without actually delivering any service under those contracts.

Semenescu allegedly acted in a similar manner with Berevoianu, persuading him to exercise his influence in Bucharest City Hall.

Semenescu is said to have received large amounts of money in exchange for interceding in favour of the firms controlled by the concerned group, in spite of never having been officially hired in any position in those companies.

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