The National Anticorruption Directorate (DNA) announced on Friday it has indicted Apa Nova Bucharest company for bribe taking, influence buying, aiding and abetting a criminal, violation of privacy, continual tax evasion, money laundering and has extended the criminal investigation against several people investigated in this case.
According to a DNA statement sent to Agerpres, the extension of judiciary actions was ordered for Bruno Roche, Apa Nova director between October 2008 – September 2013 for tax evasion in continuous form, money laundering and violation of privacy, Ovidiu Semenescu, manager of several companies and unofficial representative of a group of companies which includes Apa Nova and Vlad Moisescu, both for complicity to tax evasion in continuous form and complicity to money laundering.
Moreover, DNA informs that in the same case anticorruption prosecutors have notified the defenders of Lalague Laurent, former Apa Nova director between September 2013- June 2015, who has dual Romanian and French citizenship, that in their client’s case the prosecutors have ordered that investigation be extended to other offences rather than those established initially in the case, namely for bribe taking, tax evasion in continuous form, money laundering and violation of privacy.
The ordinance to extend and continue prosecution drafted by the prosecutors mentions that Apa Nova Bucharest, part of the Veolia Group, is the licensee of public services of water supply and services of Bucharest municipality for 25 years, starting with the year 2000.
The Bucharest municipality is one of the shareholders of the company, the first in this sector to be established under a joint public-private partnership, with 16.31pct of the company’s capital.
“Apa Nova Bucharest provides a public service so that selecting suppliers must be made through the acquisition procedure provided by the law. Despite this, between 2008-2015, companies controlled by the defendants Semenescu Ovidiu-Traian, Moisescu Vlad-Octavian and Berevoianu Costin have received contracts preferentially and directly, bypassing legal procedures. Most of the services contracted were never provided,” DNA argues.
The contracts were signed with companies controlled directly by the abovementioned individuals or via intermediaries in return for the influence and the interventions made by them in the interests of companies in the Veolia Group, namely Apa Nova Bucharest, in particular within the Bucharest City Hall, The General Council of Bucharest Municipality and the City Hall and Local Council of Bucharest’s District 1.
Prosecutors argue that the activity of the company has been hijacked and that “extremely significant amounts of money were leaked unlawfully”, potentially triggering a rise in the prices of water and sanitation services paid by Bucharest inhabitants.