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Irina Marica
Senior Editor

Irina holds a BA in Journalism and has been part of the Romania-Insider.com team since its early days in 2011. She likes to keep the Romania-insider.com readers informed every day. Irina reports on various topics, on a wide range of areas such as politics, social or entertainment. She also writes travel or leisure articles, as well as interviews. She splits her time between Sinaia, her hometown, and Bucharest. Being born and raised in a mountain town, Irina loves spending time in nature, but she also likes to read, write, listen to music, travel, teach her dog new tricks and listen to other people’s stories (so don’t hesitate to contact her for an interview if you have an interesting story that you want to share with the Romania-insider.com readers). She dreams to visit Iceland one day and maybe get to see the Arctic Monkeys play live.  You can send her press releases or feedback on her stories by emailing irina.marica@romania-insider.com.

 

Prosecutors hold Romanian Lottery’s former GM for bribery, abuse of office

Prosecutors from the National Anticorruption Department (DNA) arrested Gheorghe Benea, the former general manager of the Romanian Lottery, for bribery and abuse of office. The case targets a contract the state-owned company concluded in 2010 for its car fleet renewal.

Ovidiu Ripanu, the Lottery’s head of acquisitions, was also arrested for bribery, abuse of office, and repeated acts of money laundering.

Both Benea and Ripanu were detained for 24 hours on Thursday, September 15. Eight other people are being investigated in this case, under judicial control, including Benea’s daughter.

In May 2010, the Romanian Lottery’s management awarded a car dealership a RON 13.38 million (some EUR 3 million) contract for the supply of 182 vehicles through a buy-back system, which would have been used to replace the Lottery’s fleet.

The contract was awarded illegally, via a rigged auction, according to DNA. Thus, the car dealer sold the cars to the Romanian Lottery at a price much higher than the market price, damaging the Lottery by RON 2.31 million (over EUR 0.5 million).

In return for awarding the contract, the Romanian Lottery’s managers received money and goods, prosecutors say. For example, Ovidiu Ripanu, who signed the acquisition contract, asked for RON 1.5 million (some EUR 335,000) in cash, and four new cars, namely a Cadillac, a Hummer, a BMW, and an Opel, and the 182 second-hand cars that remained after the Lottery’s car park was renewed.

He received the amount of RON 1.08 million, the four luxury cars, and the 182 second-hand vehicles. However, he later gave the BMW to Gheorghe Benea, the Romanian Lottery’s general manager at that time, via his daughter, Laura Benea.

Both Gheorghe Benea and Ovidiu Ripanu could spend the next 30 days in jail if the court approves the prosecutors’ request to issue and arrest warrant on their names.

The Romanian Lottery is one of the richest local state-owned companies. It has been at the center of many corruption scandals related to the contracts it awarded.

Romanian Lottery fails to receive money from contract with gambling group

Media: Romanian prosecutors investigate public lottery for fraud

Irina Popescu, irina.popescu@romania-insider.com

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Profile picture for user irina.popescu0
Irina Marica
Senior Editor

Irina holds a BA in Journalism and has been part of the Romania-Insider.com team since its early days in 2011. She likes to keep the Romania-insider.com readers informed every day. Irina reports on various topics, on a wide range of areas such as politics, social or entertainment. She also writes travel or leisure articles, as well as interviews. She splits her time between Sinaia, her hometown, and Bucharest. Being born and raised in a mountain town, Irina loves spending time in nature, but she also likes to read, write, listen to music, travel, teach her dog new tricks and listen to other people’s stories (so don’t hesitate to contact her for an interview if you have an interesting story that you want to share with the Romania-insider.com readers). She dreams to visit Iceland one day and maybe get to see the Arctic Monkeys play live.  You can send her press releases or feedback on her stories by emailing irina.marica@romania-insider.com.

 

Prosecutors hold Romanian Lottery’s former GM for bribery, abuse of office

Prosecutors from the National Anticorruption Department (DNA) arrested Gheorghe Benea, the former general manager of the Romanian Lottery, for bribery and abuse of office. The case targets a contract the state-owned company concluded in 2010 for its car fleet renewal.

Ovidiu Ripanu, the Lottery’s head of acquisitions, was also arrested for bribery, abuse of office, and repeated acts of money laundering.

Both Benea and Ripanu were detained for 24 hours on Thursday, September 15. Eight other people are being investigated in this case, under judicial control, including Benea’s daughter.

In May 2010, the Romanian Lottery’s management awarded a car dealership a RON 13.38 million (some EUR 3 million) contract for the supply of 182 vehicles through a buy-back system, which would have been used to replace the Lottery’s fleet.

The contract was awarded illegally, via a rigged auction, according to DNA. Thus, the car dealer sold the cars to the Romanian Lottery at a price much higher than the market price, damaging the Lottery by RON 2.31 million (over EUR 0.5 million).

In return for awarding the contract, the Romanian Lottery’s managers received money and goods, prosecutors say. For example, Ovidiu Ripanu, who signed the acquisition contract, asked for RON 1.5 million (some EUR 335,000) in cash, and four new cars, namely a Cadillac, a Hummer, a BMW, and an Opel, and the 182 second-hand cars that remained after the Lottery’s car park was renewed.

He received the amount of RON 1.08 million, the four luxury cars, and the 182 second-hand vehicles. However, he later gave the BMW to Gheorghe Benea, the Romanian Lottery’s general manager at that time, via his daughter, Laura Benea.

Both Gheorghe Benea and Ovidiu Ripanu could spend the next 30 days in jail if the court approves the prosecutors’ request to issue and arrest warrant on their names.

The Romanian Lottery is one of the richest local state-owned companies. It has been at the center of many corruption scandals related to the contracts it awarded.

Romanian Lottery fails to receive money from contract with gambling group

Media: Romanian prosecutors investigate public lottery for fraud

Irina Popescu, irina.popescu@romania-insider.com

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