Europe More than 50 searches in Romanian Microsoft probe

More than 50 searches in Romanian Microsoft probe

Fujitsu Siemens
Fujitsu Siemens

Romanian prosecutors carried out 56 searches on Thursday in a vast investigation into money laundering and bribery linked to Microsoft software licences, the anti-corruption prosecutor’s office said.

“The searches targeted the offices of companies and foundations as well as private homes in Bucharest and in Ilfov county,” it said in a statement.

Prosecutors are investigating the alleged involvement of nine former government ministers in the purchase of contracts to license Microsoft software.

The government agreed the contract in 2004 with Fujitsu Siemens Computers, which at the time was the sole distributor for the software.

Of the $54 million (42.3 million euros) paid by the government, “$20 million was commission requested by suspects in the case, both those working for ministries and those in private companies”, the prosecutors said.

According to media reports, the former communications minister Gabriel Sandu was the focus of some of Thursday’s searches.

Sandu is suspected of receiving three million euros and asking for an additional $1.8 million in bribes to ensure he chose the company involved.

The homes of several business executives were also reportedly targeted, including the former head of Fujitsu Siemens in Romania, Claudiu Florica, and a property belonging to the former head of Romania’s foreign secret services, Catalin Harnagea.

Prosecutors also searched a property linked to the former tennis player Dinu Pescariu.


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