Breaking news: Romania’s ANAF head, Gelu Diaconu, in corruption probe

Newsroom 10/02/2016 | 19:48

The president of Romanian tax administration agency ANAF will be prosecuted in a corruption probe regarding the misappropriation of EU and public funds for programs aiming to integrate the Roma people on the local labor market.

Investigators at the National Anticorruption Directorate (DNA) are accusing Diaconu of favoring the perpetrator and of abuse in office. In the same case, the vice-president of ANAF Mihai Gogancea-Vatasoiu is also prosecuted.

The DNA say the ANAF head and vice-president issued two orders exempting the payment of healthcare contributions by people that were fictitiously employed by the Association Partida Romilor Pro Europa. This association had received public funds to employ people using civil conventions. The organization is led by MP Nicolae Paun.

The prosecutors said the two orders issued by the ANAF were illegal.

Paun also paid another MP, Madalin Voicu, for his involvement in a project carried out by Partida Romilor Pro Europa. Moreover, Voicu’s wife was paid a monthly wage at the same association although she did not work on any projects.

Both MPs are prosecuted and the DNA has asked the Parliament to lift their immunity, as investigators want to place them in temporary custody. If their rquest is approved, the two MPs will go before a judge, who will decide if they will be placed in preventive arrest, a decision the anti-corruption prosecutors are seeking .

The association is also accused of having misused EU funds. The DNA said that in a case, Partida Romilor Pro Europa used the EU money to organize training courses for different jobs such as florist or cook. Some of the people received money although they did not attend the classes.

In a separate case, the heads of the association agreed with the project managers of an EU funded program to overstate the costs with the personnel involved the implementation of the project, which focused on the social entrepreneurship for Roma communities.

The total prejudice to the European and national budgets amounts to more than EUR 10 million.

The ANAF is currently undergoing a massive modernization program with financial aid from the World Bank.’

Diaconu has been at the helm of ANAF since April 2013, being appointed by former PM Victor Ponta, who is tried in a separate case for forgery, complicity to tax evasion and money laundering.

The minister of Finance, Anca Dragu, has asked this evenining for the resignation of the two ANAF officials.

Ovidiu Posirca

 

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