Prosecutors took into custody as many as 70 employees of the Romanian Railways Company CFR in Brasov, for an investigation that involves alleged bribes and sharing bribes from passengers who dodged fares on train rides.
The 70 employees who will be investigated and questioned came from all management levels of CFR Brasov. The train conductors allegedly shared with their managers the bribes they got to allow passengers ride the train with no tickets.
Media suggests the investigation will be expanded to other regional CFR subsidiaries, where the same system is allegedly applied. According to Romanian media, around 100 people are targeted in this file, including high level managers from CFR.
Around 10 million Romanians – the equivalent of half the country – are fare dodging when riding the train, which causes the Romanian Railways Company CFR a loss of up to RON 40 million – or some EUR 8.8 million a year, according to previous information. Around 15 percent of CFR’s clients, a total of 53.4 million a year did not pay for tickets for riding the train in 2011, choosing to pay something on the train, to the ticket controller. CFR estimate fare dodging by some 15 to 20 percent of passengers a year.
CFR Marfa, CFR’s freight arm, is due to be privatized this year. Romania plans to sell a stake of 20 percent in CFR Marfa, either through an Initial Public Offering, or with a strategic investor, by October this year. The company posted losses of EUR 31.3 million last year, 68 percent higher than the level approved by the Government. CFR Marfa’s last profitable year was 2007.