Romanian police boast new BMW squad cars despite ongoing investigation
The Romanian police celebrated its anniversary by displaying its newest acquisition, the BMW squad cars, despite the fact that their purchase is currently under investigation.
The Romanian police was officially established 201 years ago, on March 25. Interior minister Lucian Bode was present at the unveiling of the cars, which took place during the celebration, and later wrote on social media that the Romanian police demonstrate that they are a strong institution anchored in everyday life, with professional, young, and modern-minded people.
“On their day, the police showed that they understand how important it is to be among the citizens and to do everything possible to ensure a fair partnership between them and those they serve," the minister said, cited by News.ro.
The purchase of 600 BMW cars has been at the center of controversy, and the European Union Prosecutor's Office and the Romanian National Anti-Corruption Directorate (DNA) are investigating the procurement contract signed between Romanian authorities and Automobile Bavaria, according to Europa Libera Romania. Last year, Renew Europe MEP Alin Mituță announced that he had notified the European Prosecutor's Office with regard to the case.
Initially, G4Media.ro reported that the tender through which the Romanian General Inspectorate of Police (IGPR) purchased the 600 BMW cars is considered "tailored" for Automobile Bavaria SRL, a company led by Michael Schmidt, a friend of Romanian president Klaus Iohannis, both by police unions and by specialized automotive publications. The contract is worth RON 98 mln (EUR 20 mln) without VAT.
President Klaus Iohannis said that this friendship did not matter and emphasized that it was unacceptable for his name and position to be involved in such a matter. He also added that investigations are in order.
In October of 2022, minister Bode presented the findings of internal verifications, saying that the necessity of the purchase is real and that the purchase was approved by the ministries of interior, transport, and an external evaluator from the European Investment Bank. He emphasized that the tender was conducted correctly.
(Photo source: Inquam Photos | Octav Ganea)