According to the Arges County Prefect, 14 of the 38 persons arrested in the Berevoesti slavery network case were recipients of welfare benefits from the Berevoesti Mayoralty. As a result, the mayor and the mayoralty’s secretary and social welfare assistant have been fined by the Arges Prefecture’s Audit Body.
“The Mayor of Berevoesti received three fines totalling RON 7,500. The secretary received three fines too, also totalling RON 7,500, while the social welfare assistant received two fines totalling RON 2,000. The mayor was fined for failure to carry out timely social investigations, failure to issue timely orders, failure to calculate workhours based on the updated minimum salary. The secretary was fined for failure to carry out timely social investigations, failure to issue timely orders and failure to timely solve welfare benefits requests. Other irregularities were also noticed but these were the main ones. The Prefecture is continuing its audit. Several leads are being pursued. The investigation’s preliminary results won’t be ready until next Tuesday,” Arges County Prefect Cristian Soare stated.
Ion Manzana, Deputy Chairman of the Arges County Council, backs the Berevoesti Mayor’s version of events, according to which there are documents pointing to the existence of certain problems within the locality ever since 2015.
He added: “There is an ongoing investigation. For the time being we cannot give you more details. I can confirm that the Berevoesti Mayor has not been summoned to make statements about the situation.”
Last week, 38 persons were detained following 40 police raids carried out in Berevoesti, Arges County. The persons have been placed under pre-trial arrest. One of the suspects, a woman, has been placed under house arrest because she is on dialysis.
Investigators believe that several crime rings formed in 2008 recruited dozens of persons (including minors) by using coercion, deception and kidnappings or by taking advantage of the persons’ state of vulnerability (minors, persons with physical and mental disabilities, persons living in poverty), in order to exploit them by forcing them to work, to do chores and to beg.