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The Mob's Telephone Exchange Master Station

Exclusive: Traian Berbeceanu taped and listened hundreds of telephone stations belonging to dignitaties for over four years

Postat la: 11.11.2013 - 12:10 | Scris de: ZIUA NEWS

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ZIUAnews is in the possession of elements from an ample intelligence-judiciary investigation carried on by the SRI (Romanian Intelligence Service) in the last four years, proving that Traian Berbeceanu, former Head of BCCO (Brigade for Fight Against Organized Crime) Alba County monitorred and taped simultaneously 800 telephones belonging to high state officials and politicians in the counties of Alba, Sibiu and Hunedoara. Laura Codruta Kovesi, current Chief Prosecutor of the National Anticorruption Department and former Chief of DIICOT (Directorate for Investigating Organized Crime and Terrorism) Sibiu County, is currently under investigation in a criminal case along with Berbeceanu, arrested last week for having supported mob groups. The current case against the former Head of BCCO Alba County for having supported and joined a mob group is based on tapings, surveillances, criminal investigations carried not only by DIICOT Alba County but also SRI (National Intelligence Service) and DGIPI (General Directorate for Intelligence and Internal Protection within the Ministry of Interior). The entire intelligence ensemble leads to the idea that this action is not only a battle between local mob interests groups, but a battle which is fought at a very high political level.

Berbeceanu's actions in the case called "Santa Claus' Cigar", when 800 prepaid phone cards were simultaneously taped, were typical political police actions that led to politicians being threatened and blackmailed. The intelligence gathered hereby did not reach only Traian Berbeceanu but also several prosecutors. The involvement of Laura Codruta Kovesi in this giant network weakens her position as Chief Prosecutor of National Anticorruption Department, given that she has a common professional history with Berbeceanu since they worked together in her native town, Sibiu. The Hydra Case, one of the many cases processed by Berbeceanu, where no mob leaders were caught but minor characters, helped Kovesi climb the professional ladder despite the fact that her involvement herein was reduced to signing two documents informing the minor mob characters of the indictment, one of which was wrong.

The arrest of Traian Berbeceanu may be the first step to find out the secrets not only of Laura Codruta Kovesi but also of highly influential politicians in the counties of Alba, Sibiu and Hunedoara.

"Berbeceanu is my friend!"

One of the most influential PSD (Social-Democratic Party) members in the country, part of the Parliamentary Committee for Budget and Finance, Senator Cosmin Nicula declared exclusively for ZIUAnews the true nature of the relationship between himself and the main suspect in this important political police and organized crime casa of recent years: "Traian Berbeceanu is my friend". The Senator declined to provide details on the nature of their friendship, how it started and developed along the years, given that the two friends are not members of the same society class.

However, ZIUAnews discovered that Police Commissioner Traian Berbeceanu's relationships have been supported and endorsed politically along the years, being the only police officer in Romania able to request and obtain taping mandates in eight different counties. Organized crime officers affiliated to regional courts of appeal are usually unable to expand their area of investigation over the jurisdiction of the court of appeal to which they are affiliated. The judicial wonder of being able to obtain the mandate to tape all kinds of phones in this country was due to the help provided by Berbeceanu's former partner, Laura Codruta Kovesi, who ran until recently the national anti-organized crime department prior to her transfer to the National Anticorruption Department.

The actual situation is that Cosmin Nicula, Berbeceanu's friend, is also a very good friend of PSD member Ovidiu Mos, Deputy Mayor of Deva and famous Malta mason. The politican network had full access to the prosecutors through Mos, especially to Mircea Adrian, Head of DIICOT Hunedoara and later to Nicolae Pastiu, Chief Prosecutor of the Prosecutor's Office attached to the Hunedoara Court of Law, where Traian Berbeceanu joined the network while he was running the so-called Department for Fighting against Organized Crime in Deva. Another influential prosecutor in this scheme was, in addition to Mircea Adrian, Cosmin Glodeanu, First Prosecutor at the General Prosecutor's Office attached to the Deva Court of Law.

Biriescu, the businessman behind Berbeceanu's case, who paid high civil servants from the Department for Fighting Against Organized Crime only to be given protection in return, is Glodeanu's godson.

Illegal loans caught on tape

As it can be seen in this case, in Hunedoara County each member of the group taped and surveyed the others to the full extent of their technical means. Berbeceanu taped his own superior officer in the office of the latter, while Chief Prosecutor Muresan wired Berbeceanu's office and swore not doing it. On the other hand, the SRI and the famous DGIPI agents planted the microphones wherever possible. One of the microphones was planted in Glodeanu's office, the godparent of the Biriescus, or in other words the godparent of the people who paid Berbeceanu good money in return for the police protection. DGIPI agents carefully listened how Ramona Biriescu, the businessman's wife, was mentioned in a conversation between prosecutor Glodeanu and businessman Ioan Groza on negotiation of a LEI 1,000,000 debt of the National Roads and Bridges Department, Hunedoara County Branch, to the Biriescus carried by a judiciary executor Viorel Munteanu.

All in one, they wiretaped and listened to each other for five years. At a certain moment, Berbeceanu wanted to destroy Ioan Tarnu, Head of SRI Alba County. He failed. Ioan Tarnu promised revenge. Berbeceanu was arrested. Tarnu kept wiretaping and listening.

Iohannis, behind Kovesi and the SRI

The political influence in the three counties is distributed between Klaus Iohannis, the perfect Transylvanian Saxon, the PDL orange in Alba County and the yellow PNL in Hunedoara County. There is not too much of the PSD influence in the region, thus making Cosmin Nicula, PSD, Berbeceanu's friend, more influential in obtaining the wiretaping mandates. During the negotiations between Iohannis and the PNL, mainly in the road of the former to the chair of Romanian President, the wiretapings from DIICOT to BCCO Alba were highly relevant. The attitude of Iohannis, difficult to explain for any regular politician, to refuse to run for Presidency, raised questions. What could determine a politician to decline such offer? Well, Iohannis simply declined it.

Ioan Lascu, Laura Codruta Kovesi's father and prosecutor for dozens of years, handed in to his daughter the network and necessary knowledge, including the list of people who deserved the support of a highly ranked young prosecutor.

Kovesi, during her second mandate as General Prosecutor of Romania, was knowingly ignorred by the National Anticorruption Department run by Daniel Morar at that time on her involvement in the case of Florin Apostu, former Chief Prosecutor at the General Prosecutor's Office attached to the Sibiu First Court of Law and businessman Ilie Carabulea. The latter was known in Sibiu for having hundreds of civil and criminal investigations started against him, all closed or covered by prosecutors along the time.

Kovesi was wiretaped in Aposu's office one week prior to his arrest for accepting bribe from Carabulea in return for closing the criminal cases against the latter and obtain the support of the General Prosecutor of Romania. In spite of the conversation between Kovesi and Apostu being kept secret for a while, the National Anticorruption Department of Alba County prosecutors made sure the conversation would not be buried by leaking to the local press a series of phone conversations between Kovesi's father, prosecutor Ioan Lascu, and Florin Apostu, where the latter informed Kovesi's father that he would act to a great extent to secure the support of the General Prosecutor of Romania. Prosecutor Ioan Lascu informed Apostu that things would be solved, should he write a memorial. Shortly after the conversation between Kovesi and Apostu, Missis Kovesi submitted to the High Court of Cassation and Justice at Apostu's request a referral in the interests of the law, meant to favour Carabulea and his company Atlassib. Thus, when Apostu and Carabulea were brought to trial, the prosecutors of National Anticorruption Department Alba County knew that the influence peddling had worked; however, Daniel Morar and his total lack of independence made it impossible for the prosecutors to include Kovesi and her father, prosecutor Ioan Lascu, in the criminal case Carabulea-Apostu. Consequently, the only persons who were sentenced to imprisonment were Carabulea and Apostu, but not for long.

The wiretaping of more than 700 telephones in these counties during the action run by Berbeceanu, "Santa Claus' Cigar", made the SRI pay a great deal of attention, since only 38 phone number holders were identified with name, surname, ID data, while the rest were left "unidentified". According to the SRI reports, Berbeceanu used to spend many hours in the "technical room", where wiretapings were processed. The high number of phone number holders remained "unidentified" and the long presence of Berbeceanu in the room where the wiretapings were processed drew the attention of the SRI high officers, who filed reports on several phone number holders being high civil servants and politicians. The purpose of the operation was not only to find out secrets of high civil servants and politicians but also to use them politically and for blackmails. In addition, surveillance missions were completed in places where dignitaries and magistrates spent time partying, one of the most memorable episodes spent in the technical room being the recording of a prosecutor lying drunk with his face in a plate of mash potatoes.

Naboiu the anonymous, Berbeceanu's right-hand

Berbeceanu was helped to secure his first important position in the fight against organized crime by Police Commissioner Lucian Naboiu, a good friend of his. Close friends and equally well connected to the same system, the two police commissioners used an operational scheme that comprised, surprisingly or not, the same criminals used as informants, the same politicians as confidants and the same women as entertainment sources, even the same judges used for obtaining arrest warrants. Nevertheless, PSD Senator Cosmin Nicula, Berbeceanu's friend, claims to be clueless and know nothing about Naboiu, the chief of the structure fighting against organized crime in the county where Nicula is Senator.

ZIUAnews publicly demands all politicians, high civil servants and magistrates in the counties of Alba, Sibiu and Hunedoara to request explanations from the National Intelligence Service on the wiretaping of the telephones.

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