Former Romanian mayor convicted for corruption arrested in Germany after fleeing his country

Former Romanian Mayor Catalin Chereches
By Dénes Albert
2 Min Read

German authorities arrested a Romanian mayor who had fled his country after being sentenced to prison for five years for corruption, according to a statement released by Romanian police on Tuesday evening.

Catalin Chereches, the mayor of Nagybánya, which is Baia Mare in Romanian, was detained in the city of Augsburg in Bavaria after Romanian police issued an international arrest warrant on Saturday, according to a statement from the national police headquarters quoted by Agerpres.

The Romanian police said they were working with their German, Hungarian, Austrian and Italian colleagues to track down the whereabouts of the Romanian politician, who was found and arrested.

Chereches fled to Hungary on Friday at the Csengersima-Pete border crossing with a relative’s passport to evade Romanian authorities before being sentenced by the Cluj Trial Court in the city of Cluj that day to five years imprisonment on several counts of accepting bribes.

The escape of the politician prompted Interior Minister Catalin Predoiu on Sunday to replace Police Commissioner Victor Stefan Ivascu, the commander of the border police, and two of his three deputies.

He also ordered the ministry’s internal affairs department to carry out an investigation at the border police’s regional headquarters in Maramures county and at the Csengersima-Pete border crossing point to establish what failings allowed the mayor, who was under the authority’s supervision, to leave Romania, “temporarily preventing his prosecution.”

Disciplinary proceedings were initiated against the border police officer who controlled the taxi carrying Chereches.

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