OVER 150 HOUSE SEARCHES/ HUNDREDS OF PERSONS INVOLVED/ 30 TONS OF FISH, UNFIT FOR HUMAN CONSUMPTION, CONFISCATED
• 115 house searches in Romania
Starting this morning, Romanian police officers, together with our colleagues from Italy, Spain, France, and Hungary are implementing over 150 search warrants for documenting criminal activity of an organized crime group which deals with illegal activities in the field of fishing, acquisition, transport and marketing of fish unfit for consumption.
In Romania, police execute 115 such home search warrants across Bucharest, Constanta, Calarasi, Dambovita, Arges, Ilfov, Tulcea, Ploiesti, Braşov, Brăila, Buzău, Vâlcea, Giurgiu and Maramureş. Along with them are representatives of the Spanish National Police.
Romanian police take part in similar actions taking place in Italy, Spain, France and Hungary.
The case is handled by the Prosecutor's Office attached to the Constanta Court of Appeal and, considering the complexity of the case and the cross-border nature of the case, it was opened at EUROJUST level, with investigations carried out in Italy, Spain, France, Hungary and Portugal, directly coordinated by EUROJUST and EUROPOL.
• How the organized crime group acted
The group, consisting of hundreds of people (Romanians, French, Italians, and Hungarians), has created a real mechanism for illegally purchasing fish from outside the country for its transport and subsequently for its marketing in Romania
It did not work after a pyramidal system but, on the contrary, acted on several levels, at which different groups were formed, depending on the object of activity (fish poaching / transport / trade etc.).
The fishery products were obtained from the territorial waters of Italy, Spain and France where fishing was prohibited, the fish in those areas being unfit for consumption.
Subsequently, the quantity resulting from the fish poaching was stored and transported without a veterinary sanitary authorization, as required by the European and Romanian legislation in the field.
Bringing fish into Romania was done by using falsified documents, the members of the group making intra-community acquisitions, by means of Romanian companies with an object of activity in the field of marketing of fishery products, specially set up to serve the criminal activity.
• 30 tons of fish, unsuitable for consumption, confiscated
As a result of the international cooperation between the Romanian Police and the police authorities in Spain, Hungary, France, Italy and Portugal, the criminal activity was documented and all existing information was exploited by blocking access to the Romanian market for 30 tons of fish, improper for consumption, the value of which would have amounted to approximately 600.000 lei.
With the support of the National Sanitary Veterinary and Food Safety Authority, the entire amount of fish was destroyed.
• Criminal prosecution began
In the case, the prosecution of the criminal proceedings was initiated and investigations are continuing in the area of committing offenses of organized crime grouping, marketing of altered products, tax evasion, as well as holding, transporting and selling without legal documents the fish.
We mention that the criminal activity documentation was carried out by police officers within the Public Order Directorate, with the support of the Special Operations Directorate of the IGPR, the Arad County Police Inspectorate, the General Inspectorate of the Romanian Border Police, the National Sanitary Veterinary and Food Safety Authority and the Directorate General Anti-Fraud Office of ANAF.