Corruption in Romania

A short reminder for the European Commission that will issue the progress report for Romania next week, dealing with the progress made in judicial reform and the fight against corruption … safeguard clauses, anyone? (check here for the so called Cooperation and Verification Mechanism)

Click here to watch the video.

(Hat tip to The Short Story Made Long)

Oh yes, and Bulgaria (more…) has even bigger problems …

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3 responses to “Corruption in Romania

  1. The video is unfortunately no longer available.

  2. Thanks a lot! It seems that the embedding function is disabled, but you can still watch the video here.

  3. July 18, 2008. Talk about corruption. It’s continues in Romania at such high levels that even the European Court of Human Rights turns its head when the Governor of the National Bank is involved. Read below a classic court case that Romanian political officials have tried to hide for years :

    The Central Bank of Romania has covered so many thieveries from private investments, it isn’t funny. I hope Americans and particular anyone considering making any substantial investment in the Romanian economy has the where with all to take a look at some hard facts that politicians are conveniently over looking for numerous reasons. Even the European Court of Human Rights has turned its back on the corruption by disallowing a case registered against Romania in their court. The case involved corruption committed directly by The Central Bank of Romania who stole $12 million U.S. from a privately held company owned by a Canadian citizen. To cover their theft they accused and illegally tried a Canadian Citizen. This is a true story, legally documented. It is the story of the little guy being stepped on by a tremendous machine – all for political and financial gain.
    The case in reference, 9701-04, was registered with the ECHR in September 2004. It revealed a political scam exposing The Central Bank of Romania in the act of thievery from The Darianne Program for Agriculture, a private company developed by an individual who defected from Communism under Ceausescu returning only after the supposed fall of Communism.
    The Program, reviewed and approved by The Romanian Parliament and Senate even had the blessing of then President Iliescu. The Program flourished employing 1,500 Romanians in its bakeries, slaughter houses, milk processing factories, ice cream manufacturing factories and retail stores. Dariannes’ success created such credibility in the European community; it was able to bring unprecedented foreign financing to the Program. This financing was administered by Banco di Napoli (Italy) and Den Danske Bank (Denmark). Because of the value of the financing, in the eyes of the lender the only credible bank to guarantee the loan was The Central Bank of Romania. The Central Bank gladly accepted this responsibility assigning administration of the loans to two newly formed Romanian banks, Dacia Felix and Credit Bank.
    Foreign financing was directed to a specific turn-key project in The Program, giving Darianne the right to access equipment, not cash. The idea was revenues generated by the new manufacturing facilities would repay the loan. The Program did just that until two major projects were skillfully compromised by falsified documents showing delivery of equipment, when in fact equipment was not delivered. Even though this was immediately reported to the Romanian police, Interpol, the Romanian Ministry of Finance and The Romanian Central Bank, The Romanian Central Bank ignored the reports and released $3.6 million U.S. in payment of the non-delivered equipment. The $3.6 million was paid to the Bank of DiNapoli, Italy. (Note: The Banco Di Napoli who had more than $1 billion in “bad loans” was later closed by the Italians. Assets were bought by Banco di Roma. To uncover the scheme, the Banco di Roma was taken to court in Canada. During cross-examination, the Financing Project Manager of former Banco Di Napoli, Luxembourg testified that based on non-credible documents, no money should have been released from The Central Bank to Banco Di Napoli in payment of the non-delivered equipment. Also sighted was the agreed system of document verification had not been followed. Two signatures were always required prior to release of funds. The principal of the Darianne Program was to sign as well as a Commercial Officer in the Italian Embassy in Bucharest, Romania. This procedure had been followed for each prior equipment delivery. Without both signatures, The Central Bank of Romania was not to pay for any equipment.)
    Immediately after The Central Bank released the money, they then took $22 million U.S. worth of projects from The Darianne Program and transferred them to a company called SYBCO. This was done despite lack of approval from the owner of Darianne and used as a method to silence his protests. (Note: The owner of SYBCO was the former Chief of The National Organization of Young Communists under Ceausescu.)
    Shortly thereafter, as clearly documented in the press $12 million U.S. was cashed out of the SYBCO program exactly as it had been done in The Darianne Program for Agriculture. To this day, the criminal file against SYBCO has never come to trial in Romania. Where did the $3.6 million and the $12 million U.S. go that was cashed out of these programs?
    To silence the Canadian owner of Darianne, The Central Bank directed Credit Bank and Dacia Felix bank to file a lawsuit against him personally for mismanagement and theft of the money from The Darianne Program.
    Throughout this entire scenario, misuse of power became obvious. Eventually a trial took place in Romania in which the defendant was clearly denied:
    1. The right to present witnesses or evidence in his defense.
    2. The right to present exculpatory accounting evidence.
    3. The right to adequate opportunity to test and challenge the evidence presented against him.
    Also,
    1. There were inaccuracies and inconsistencies in the accounting evidence presented by the plaintiff to which the defendant was not permitted to present evidence to show otherwise.
    2. The amount of damages claimed was exorbitant and never substantiated.
    3. The sitting Judge, Rodica Caragea was under penal investigation at the time of the trial. She was later convicted.
    4. Proceedings were conducted in a manner contrary to Romanian written law.
    5. The final decision in the case was obtained by fraud.
    6. There was no connection to the owner personally and the amounts claimed by the Plaintiff.
    In September 2007, 3 years after filing the case with the European Court of Human Rights, the owner of Darianne sent notification to the ECHR documenting a change of address. Astoundingly, a response came from The Court. It was a brief letter from a Clerk stating the following:
    “A decision to disallow the case was taken on June 20, 2006.” (Note: this was the first notice ECHR had sent to the owner of Darianne – 17 months have the case was disallowed.) Attached to the brief letter was a non-dated, non-signed letter written by a clerk stating that the decision had been taken by 3 judges (one of whom was Romanian), that the case had been dismissed under the vague Articles 34 and 35 of the Convention. It stated that they found no violation of right and freedoms. Additionally, it stated that the file would be destroyed after one year and there would be no recourse for appeal.
    Odd isn’t it. If the owner of Darianne had not notified the ECHR of a change of address, would he have been notified at all?
    There are obvious irregularities and oddities with this case handled by the European Court of Human Rights:
    1. Neither the owner of Darianne or his lawyer was notified of the decision until the change of address notification – 17 months after a decision had been taken.
    2. Despite all previous correspondence from The European Court of Human Rights having reached the Owner in a timely manner, this notification was not signed, dated nor sent by Registered Post.
    3. Sitting on the committee of 3 rendering a decision to disallow this case from the ECHR was a Romanian Judge. Is this not partisanship. Seating this individual on a Committee to judge a volatile Romanian case clearly demonstrates a conflict of interest.
    4. By the time the owner of Darianne was notified, the case files were destroyed by The Court allowing no review of the Court opinion.
    5. Only reference to two vague articles 34 and 35 are sighted for the Committee’s decision.
    6. The letter from the European Court of Human Rights stating disallowance of the case carries NO DATE and NO SIGNATURE.
    7. During the time the facts of this case and ultimate results of this case were suppressed, Romania became a full member of the EU.
    The only reasonable conclusion that can be drawn from this is that if one is not permitted witnesses and documented defense in a trial, it appears that The European Court of Human Rights has regressed to the days of the French Revolution.
    It appears that the ECHR has chosen in fact to push aside a case that clearly defies Human Rights to hide the extent and level of thievery and corruption in Romania. Was this case in fact too politically volatile to hear? Was it easier to push it aside and hope that it goes away?
    It appears that the only recourse is to present documents and proof to anyone who will listen and to warn the North American business community of the dangers of investing business dollars in the European community, particularly Romania. There are neither laws nor courts big or small that are prepared to expose the extreme, high-level of corruption in Romania let alone to protect foreign investors.
    Note: court cases registered in Canada (which are part of the public record) and Romania clearly document the above. All facts are supported by legal documents and testimony.
    See the website: http://www.hawala.us
    This book is based on a true story. As an editor I was privy to read first-hand the registered court cases, supporting legal documentation and legal testimony registered in the Supreme Court of Canada. Romania has worked hard to stifle this case among others because it reveals high-level corruption. As an American I am astonished that we could promote a country without displaying the reality.