Former Kolozsvár police chief arrested for running extortion ring

They say criminals make the best cops, but sometimes this is also true in reverse. The former head of the organized crime unit at the Kolozsvár/Cluj police station was arrested on August 15 by his former colleagues; during the subsequent house searches, they found enough evidence to charge him for running an extortion ring, Romanian Police said in a press release.

According to police, the man, who retired in 2005, together with three other former cops apparently ran a private detective agency, which conducted illegal surveillance, just the way they did in their old job, but without the approval of a prosecutor. Their goal had been to extract information that they subsequently used for blackmail.

The group targeted mainly fruit ripe for the picking, so to speak: businessmen who either had had previous trouble with the law or who had become rich in a suspiciously short period of time. They even used their former connections to find information not available to the public against their targets.

On one occasion, the group posed as policemen, stopped a businessman and asked for 200,000 euros to make a supposed police investigation against him “go away.” During the raids of their domiciles, police found GPS trackers, listening devices, large amounts of cash in euros and dollars, dozens of mobile phones, a legally held 9mm pistol, ammunition and an SUV.

Title image: Police during the arrest of the extortion ring leader. (source: Organized Crime Directorate)

Author: Dénes Albert