Romania: Deputy Central Bank Chief Resigns After Bribery Arrest

The deputy chief of Romania’s central bank resigned on Monday over allegations he accepted a € 1 million (US$ 1.12 million) bribe.

 

hqdefaultBogdan Olteanu (Photo: Redactia PSnews.ro, CC BY)The National Anticorruption Directorate arrested National Bank of Romania deputy governor Bogdan Olteanu on Friday for what they said was a bribe received in his previous capacity as chairman of the country’s lower housefrom an unnamed businessman.

Prosecutors said the bribe was paid to Olteanu in order for him to use his influence to help appoint journalist Liviu Mihaiu as governor of the Danube Delta, continental Europe’s least-developed wetland region.

Local media identified the businessman as Sorin Ovidiu Vantu, a Romanian billionaire and former media tycoon. Vantu was reportedly seeking to turn part of the delta into a luxury tourism destination.

Romania’s Court of Appeals recently upheld Vantu’s six-year prison sentence over an embezzlement scheme involving Romanian oil company Petromservice.

OCCRP partner RISE Project Romania released a detailed breakdown Saturday showing how Vantu used offshore companies to transfer the bribe to Olteanu.

This article was changed on August 3, 2016 to correct the name of Liviu Mihaiu. The OCCRP regrets the error.