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September 24, 2021

Former Romanian Lottery Director Gheorghe Benea, detained for bribe taking and abuse of office

Former Director General of the Romanian National Lottery Company (CNLR) Gheorghe Benea was detained by the National Anticorruption Directorate (DNA) prosecutors, in a case where he is charged with the following offenses: bribe taking and aggravated abuse of office.

According to a National Anticorruption Directorate (DNA) release, sent on Friday to AGERPRES, in the same case, that is targeting corruption acts regarding a faked auction for the renewing of the CNLR’s car fleet, Chief of the Acquisitions Department within the Romanian Lottery Ovidiu Ripanu was also detained for continuous bribe taking, aggravated abuse of office and continuous money laundering.

Legal actions were put in motion and also the court supervision measure was taken for a period of 60 days, starting September 15, against Cornelia Olaru, Civil Service Clerk of the CNLR’s Acquisitions Department and member of the Offers Evaluation Commission. She is charged with aggravated abuse of office and bribe taking. For Catalin Niculae, associate and a company’s legal manager, the same legal measures were taken, being charged with complicity to continuous money laundering.

Regarding the case, criminal prosecution measures are conducted against other persons that are considered suspects in the case, namely Remus Leonard Lazarescu, Executive Director of the CNLR, at the moment of the offense, Dan Gheorghiu – Chief of the CNLR’s Transport Bureau – both of them are being investigated for aggravated abuse of office, Nicolae Virgil Sorescu – Manager of a vehicle trading company, charged with complicity to aggravated abuse of office and continuous money laundering, Constantin-Bradut Raducanu – Company Manager, charged with complicity to aggravated abuse of office, Laura Alexandra Benea, the daughter of Gheorghe Benea, charged with complicity to bribe taking and money laundering and Marius Bran, associate and a company’s legal Manager, charged with complicity to money laundering.

On Friday, Gheorghe Benea and Ovidiu Ripanu will be taken to the Bucharest Court, with the request of preventive detention for 30 days.

The two of them were sent to court by National Anticorruption Directorate (DNA) in another case, on December 30, 2015, in their capacity as heads of the Romanian Lottery.

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