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April 11, 2021

Chief organised crime prosecutor Horodniceanu about Sky News story: Scripted, possibly hatched by journalists

Chief prosecutor of the Directorate for Organised Crime and Terrorism Investigations (DIICOT) Daniel Horodniceanu said Wednesday that DIICOT prosecutors had identified the weapons and masked persons featuring in a recent Sky News story about how easy weapons can be moved around conflict areas. He said the reportage has been confirmed as scripted, possibly written by the journalists of this media organisation.

“At this hour, searches are being conducted at addresses in the counties of Mures and Bistrita. The persons in balaclavas and other involved persons have been identified. The weapons have also been identified and impounded. The motor vehicle involved has also been discovered and an investigation is conducted at the scene. The people will be brought for hearings today in Bucharest and we will come up with more details afterwards. So far, it has been confirmed what we said from the very beginning, a scripted story that I think was hatched by the British journalists,” said Horodniceanu in a statement at DIICOT.

Prosecutors with the Directorate for Investigation of Organised Crime and Terrorism (DIICOT) are conducting today seven searches at addresses in Targu Mures and Bistrita Nasaud in a case opened after allegations of arms trafficking made by the Sky News private broadcaster, according to judiciary sources.

They said a person has been brought to the main offices of DIICOT while four more, the alleged traffickers, will also come for hearings.

In this case, the prosecutors have started a criminal investigation into deliberate smuggling and violations of arms and ammunition legislation.

The sources added that the intermediary between the alleged smugglers and the Sky News journalists was brought to DIICOT on Tuesday evening and confessed his part.

The investigators have allegedly found all the arms involved, some of which they found were legally held for hunting.

The same sources claim the Sky News story was scripted, with the journalists telling the alleged smugglers what to say when they were filmed.

Likewise, the investigators reportedly learned that the journalists paid the so-called smugglers for their part.

The news organisation claims that, with the threat of terrorism looming over Europe, they attempted to illustrate how getting a weapon is relatively easy in Eastern Europe.

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