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Romanian prosecutors raid officials' houses

May 23, 2011

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BUCHAREST, Romania—Anti-corruption prosecutors have raided the homes of dozens of Romanian customs officials, a top interior ministry official and a senator on suspicion of smuggling and tax evasion.

Prosecutors said interior ministry general secretary Laurentiu Mironescu and senator Mircea Banias were questioned Monday on suspicion of gasoline smuggling at the Black Sea port of Constanta. Agerpres news agency reported that tax evasion in the case cost the state euro1 million ($1.42 million). Mironescu was later fired from the ministry.

Prosecutors also raided the homes of 50 customs officials on suspicion of tax evasion.

Authorities this year launched a crackdown on customs officials and border police who are accused of turning a blind eye to cigarette smuggling. About 180 people have been arrested.

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