Romanian Defense Ministry denies involvement in ammo trafficking

ROMANIA

Romania’s National Defense Minister Mihai Stanisoara stressed on Wednesday that his ministry is in no way involved in the contracts of the deliberation of ammunition.

Stanisoara was referring to an operation for the neutralization and safe disposal of the military ammunition that has become unusable and dangerous.

He gave the details following a request made by president of the opposition Liberals Crin Antonescu.

“With respect to your request for me to publicly clarify whether the National Defense Ministry was aware of the disposal of ammunition carried out by Babeni Mechanical Plant SA as part of contracts closed with other economic operators, I inform you that the Defense Ministry is in no way involved in these contracts,” the minister said.

Antonescu said on Tuesday the Liberals will call for the setting up of a committee to inquire into the case surrounding Mircea Basescu, if the information about the involvement of the Romanian president’s brother in business relating to the defense area is not clarified by the start of the parliamentary session.

He stressed he could not pronounce on the content of journalist Sorin Rosca Stanescu’s allegations, but added he was expecting clarification from the state institutions in this respect.

Stanescu has said on his blog that President Traian Basescu’s brother Mircea Basescu allegedly took part in an international trafficking operation involving huge quantities of explosives. According to him, five ships from Thailand carrying explosive materials and ammunition allegedly laid anchor in the Romanian Black Sea port of Constanta at the end of last year or early this year and Mircea Basescu allegedly took care of secretly unloading the explosives from those ships.

Stanescu said the final destination, according to the contract signed with the Thai side by Romarm SA was the Plant from Babeni, the southern Valcea county; the explosives and ammunition, once there, were re-packed instead of being destroyed, he added.

Mircea Basescu negated on Monday any involvement in supposed operations of smuggling with ammunition, saying that “I am not and I have never been involved in trade operations of this kind. The story written by journalist Sorin Rosca Stanescu has no relation with my activity in the Port of Constanta, as a manager of a commercial company, and the storing activity of the containers with merchandise, in transit through the port of Constanta, is made in conformity with the law and under the supervision of the Customs Authority.”

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