Romania arrests central bank deputy governor in graft investigation

Romania’s anti-graft prosecutors arrested central bank deputy governor Bogdan Olteanu on Friday in a corruption investigation, the prosecutors said, the first arrest of a leading central banker in the country.”He is now at our prosecuting headquarters, in detention,” one DNA prosecuting official told Reuters by telephone. “An inquiry is underway.”

Romania’s Central bank deputy governor, Bogdan Olteanu

The anti-graft prosecutors, the DNA, want Olteanu detained for 30 days, the official said.

“There is data and evidence that shows … in 2008, Bogdan Olteanu, as lower house speaker, had requested and received 1 million euros and electoral support from a businessman, to persuade the Romanian government members to appoint a certain person as governor of the Danube Delta,” the DNA said in a statement.

The DNA would not elaborate on the investigation. It did not identify the candidate Olteanu wanted appointed or offer any other names. The statement did say the person Olteanu supported was appointed.

Olteanu has been one of the nine-member central bank board since 2009 and lower house speaker in 2006-2008.

In the last two years, prosecutors have begun investigations against some of the most powerful and well-connected people in Romania, where tax evasion and bribery are a drain on public finances and corruption deters investors.

The central bank said a statement will be issued soon, an official said.

The Romanian leu was marginally softer, 0.1 percent down on the day at 4.4640 against the euro.

Channel News Asia 

29 July 2016