Romstrade, the construction company controlled by Romanian businessman Nelu -the Asphalt King – Iordache, has just been served two more termination notices by the Romanian Highways Company (CNADNR), a move which snatches almost EUR 54 million in road modernization or construction work right from under Iordache’s nose.
One of the terminated contracts was intended for the modernization of national road 5 Bucharest-Adunatii Copaceni and it should have put EUR 19 million into the builder’s pockets. The second contract, intended to reel in EUR 35 million, was for a bypass road around the city of Caracal, in Southern Romania.
The two discontinued deals follow shortly after a couple of other agreements – the construction of the first portion of the Nadlac-Arad highway and a restoration of national road 6 over a 53 km portion – were lost from Romstrade’s portfolio in a similar manner.
The official cause for termination provided by the authorities is an irrecoverable delay in the execution of contracted works.
“The decision to serve termination notices was made following the contractor’s failure to meet his obligations, namely the low level of physical progress made as against the planned works, the contractor’s failure to comply with the notice of remedy for delay recovery […], the contractor’s failure to observe landmark deadlines and his inability to meet his contractual obligation and complete all works by the work end date,” reads a CNADNR press release on the matter.
This is but one stage in Iordache’s fall into legal and financial disgrace. On December 29, the businessman, who also owns low cost airline Blue Air, was arrested and detained for 29 days over accusations of EU fund embezzlement. Iordache was then asked to account for some EUR 5.5 million that apparently did not make it into the Nadlac-Arad highway building project, its initial intended purpose. Money laundering and document forgery added further shame and injury in this long and winding story, which appears to have been catalyzed by political skeletons in Iordache’s closet, according to Romanian media.
Ioana Jelea, firstname.lastname@example.org