The Romanian state must recover about EUR 1 billion from people convicted in corruption cases investigated by the National Anticorruption Directorate (DNA), according to DNA chief prosecutor Laura Codruta Kovesi.
Since 2013, the DNA prosecutors have frozen over EUR 2 billion worth of assets in corruption cases while judges have issued final decision for confiscating EUR 1 billion from the people found guilty for corruption.
“We must ask ourselves what has been happening with these decisions, how many of them have been executed,” Kovesi said, according to local Hotnews.ro.
She added that recent experience has confirmed the findings of a European study according to which defendants prefer to serve time in jail than have their assets confiscated. Extended confiscation may change this.
Another trend is that investigated people transfer their assets abroad, in offshore accounts, or leave altogether. However, starting 2016, DNA has also seized assets abroad, including two properties in France, worth EUR 3.5 million, and two assets in Spain, worth EUR 500,000, as well as bank accounts in Cyprus, Germany and Switzerland.
Kovesi said that the legislation is clear and predictable when it comes to seizing assets and that the Finance Ministry and tax agency ANAF should answer why the damages are not recovered. However, ANAF officials say that the recovery of these sums is a complicated process, because the seized assets usually have an uncertain status.