Costa Rican Authorities Detain Two Romanian Fugitives

Published: 04 October 2018

Udrea and BicaUdrea and Bica together in a Costa Rican restaurant. (Photo: Facebook)

By Alex Cooper

Costa Rican authorities announced on Wednesday that they have detained two women wanted by their home country of Romania after being sentenced for abuse of power and corruption.

With Interpol help, police in San Jose detained Alina Bica and Elena Udrea after an OCCRP investigation published in June detailed how they were allegedly settled in Costa Rica.

Bica, 44, was once Romania’s chief prosecutor, tasked with fighting organized crime and terrorism. In 2015, though, she was charged with bribery and abuse of power. Last summer, she visited Costa Rica and then moved there before the end of 2017.

Soon after, Udrea joined her, according to OCCRP.

Udrea, also 44, had also risen in Romania’s government, holding various ministerial posts and was a member of parliament. She evan ran to become Romania’s first female president. She was charged with receiving a US$315,000 bribe to cover costs associated with Traian Basescu successful presidential reelection campaign in 2009.

Udrea faced other charges including taking $3.8 million in bribes from an energy trader. She was convicted in absentia of bribery and abuse of power this June in a case related to the organization of an international boxing gala in Romania. She was sentenced to six years in prison.

Romanian businessman Mihai Radulescu, 55, is suspected of assisting the women start a fugitive life in Costa Rica. Radulescu has allegedly helped other Romanians with legal troubles settle in the Central American country.

As OCCRP reported, Radulescu served as a model and provided advice to the women and supplied shelter and financial help.

Bica and Udrea brought with them to Costa Rica a handful of relatives, friends, and business partners, some of whom were also charged with corruption and awaiting final sentences back in Romania.