The searches started by prosecutors of the Directorate for Investigating Organised Crime and Terrorism (DIICOT) on Wednesday morning in five counties and in Bucharest City related to wood business also target the headquarters of Schweighofer Holzindustrie in Bucharest and its factories in Sebes and Radauti, judicial sources tells AGERPRES.
According to the sources, executives of these woodworking factories will be brought in for hearings.
Also included in the searches are the forest directorates of the counties of Suceava, Alba and Hunedoara.
Prosecutors with the Directorate for Investigating Organised Crime and Terrorism (DIICOT) on Wednesday conducted 23 searches in five counties and in Bucharest City at public persons and organisations to dismantle an organised crime group specialising in embezzlement of public auctions, tax evasion and illegal logging estimated to have incurred damage in excess of 25 million euros.
According to a DIICOT press statement, DIICOT prosecutors together with police officers and specialists from the National Criminology Institute also searched four offices of public bodies. The action is aimed to dismantle of an organised crime group specialising in embezzlement of public auctions, tax evasion, unfair competition, illegal logging and other offences under the jurisdiction of this prosecutor’s office.
“Since 2011, several people have established an organised crime group which members would act to acting for the diversion of public auctions organsied by forestry directions in order to secure considerable additional volumes of wood for processing in factories specialising in wood cutting and planing. For the same purpose, business operator would be removed from the wood auctions and, as the case may be, replaced by others,” according to DIICOT.
At the same time, DIICOT shows that, following the searches, it was established that some of the quantity of wood received was not accounted for in bookkeeping documents.
DIICOT also says that a part of the received wood came from illegal logging.
“In carrying out the illegal activities, the members of the organised crime group enjoyed support from public servants”, the prosecutors say. Investigators pin the estimated damage at over 25 million euros.