Vasile Blaga congratulates policemen for recovery of stolen weapons

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Minister of Administration and Interior Vasile Blaga congratulated a number of five policemen for their important role played in the recovery of the 35 weapons of those 62 stolen from a military unit in Ciorogarla (Ilfov County, south) at the beginning of January this year, Chief of Romanian police, inspector general Petre Toba announced on Monday.

Three of them have been promoted and the other two received a letter of thanks from the leadership of the Ministry of Administration and Interior (MAI). Toba said police used significant material, logistic and human resources towards solving the case: trace evidence was compared to the genetic information of over 10,000 people and hundreds of laboratory analyses on 500 traces and micro-traces were conducted. The forensic investigation cost was around 50,000 euros.

“Immediately after the weapons were stolen, the perpetrators took measures to conserve them in secret hiding for a long period of time. Subsequently, they brought them out, disassembled and packaged the weapons in plastic bags, also making the attempt to erase the series. In some situations the series were erased, but the experts traced them and in some other situations the series could be identified”, stressed Toba, noting that the presented weapons during the press conference were already criminally investigated.

He pointed out that the recovered weapons were not used and there was no afferent ammunition, and also that the search for the other weapons is under way, mission coordinated by the prosecutors from the Department to Counter International Organized Criminality and Terrorism (DIICOT). According to DIICOT head, Chief prosecutor Codrut Olaru, the stolen weapons were to be traded for heroin in Turkey, or used for violent attacks.

“This case file is a very complex one due to the nature of crimes committed by the 15 accused, as well as by the other investigated persons, and by the group members’ criminal profile. We talk about an organized criminal group, well consolidated and with a hierarchy, formed of people inclined to violent action. Part of the group members are currently investigated into two cases of murder, so far unsolved”, said Olaru.

He added that the perpetrators are suspected for international high risk drug trafficking and arms traffic. “This year, part of the group organized, financed and benefited from the introduction into the country, on transit from Turkey to Western Europe, of some important quantities of heroin. Following the cooperation with the Turkish and Bulgarian authorities 55 kilograms and subsequently 75 kilograms of heroin were captured in August, with a black market value of more than 7 million euros”, DIICOT official also informed.

In this context, he also said that these days the group prepared another heroin transport on the same route, with The Netherlands as final destination. As regards the arms traffic, Olaru said that, “based on forensic expertise, the six persons indicted from the 15 detained during the last night are the authors of the theft committed in January this year, in Ciorogarla arms depot”.

“We talk about evidence on the spot and traces on the recovered weapons corresponding without doubt to the DNA of the six accused. We have the evidence, the traces on the spot and on the recovered weapons by the authorities”, explained DIICOT Chief prosecutor. He also said that the two inquiries – for drug trafficking and for stolen weapons – were run in parallel.

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