31 Mar 2011

Romania Redoubles Efforts on Border Corruption

As Romania prepares to enter the Schengen Agreement, Romanian police and anti-corruption agents have increased raids at border check points throughout the country. This comes at a time when Western European countries like France and Germany are concerned about Romanian efforts to combat smuggling on its borders.

While over 100 officers were arrested during a sting on February 8th and another 50 were arrested on February 24th in a similar raid, which led to the dismissal of Customs Chief Radu Marginean, this may be too little, too late, according to Victor Alistar, the executive director of Transparency International Romania.

A major concern is that the corruption cases are not the work of individual, rogue officers, but are rather a highly organized and hierarchically run enterprise, with many police and customs union officers saying that the pawns are being sacrificed for the health of the larger corruption organization. Traian Basescu, the president, retorted that the queen actually belongs with the unions, further complicating the job for anti-corruption workers in the Balkan country.

The full story can be read here from SETimes