190 house searches in connection to environmental pollution in Romania

Environmental pollution in Romania has caused alarm throughout the country. A firm Marosvásárhely (Târgu Mureș) is at the center of an investigation that included 190 house searches last Thursday across Romania. According to the authorities, MedPharma Collect had been unloading some of its collected hospital waste into the environment. (kronikaonline.ro)

The Economic Crime Department of the Maros (Mureș) County Police carried out 190 house searches in 17 counties across Romania and Bucharest on March 4, 2021, in connection to a case related to tax fraud, malfeasance and environmental pollution. The main “target” of the investigation is the Marosvásárhely-based MedPharma Collect Ltd.

According to the suspicion of the Maros County Police Headquarters, MedPharma Collect, which deals with hospital waste management, committed accounting fraud between 2018 and 2020; also, for cost-saving reasons, instead of handing over its collected waste to the authorized incinerators, the company simply unloaded it into the environment.

The owner “has no clue”

One day after the house searches, kronikaonline.ro asked MedPharma owner Adrian Henteş about the case and why the police visited the headquarters of his company in Marosvásárhely to collect its accounting books, he answered, “I don’t even have a clue.”

Henteş‘ firm is present in 17 counties across Romania and in its capital of Bucharest as well. In the course of the operation, led by the Maros County Prosecution, house searches were conducted at 190 legal entities and private persons’ properties in Bucharest as well as Maros (Mureș), Botoşani, Iaşi, Suceava, Fehér (Alba), Arad, Bákó (Bacău), Bihar (Bihor), Krassó-Szörény (Caraș-Severin), Kolozs (Cluj), Constanța, Dâmboviţa, Dolj, Prahova, Szeben (Sibiu), Teleorman and Vaslui counties.

According to the authorities, healthcare institutions and other companies operating in the healthcare industry, whose records had been modified too, are also involved in the case. Details in connection to public procurements for healthcare consumable stocks during the state of emergency are also being investigated. At a rough estimate, the damage caused to the state budget is RON 380,000 (EUR 78,000). Authorities have taken five people into custody.

Police spokeswoman Emanuela Fărcaş said that to lower costs, the firm’s employees did not always bring the hospital waste to the incinerators but instead just threw it away in nature.


Title image: Almost a ton of illegally stored hospital waste was found by police in March 2020 near the Suceava River. Authorities also managed to catch a driver, with a car full of garbage, whose documents showed that he was employed by MedPharma Collect. (Photo: ziarulunirea.ro)


Author: Attila Szoó