Head of Romanian drug distributor accused of corruption, abuse of power

Prosecutors of the Romanian National Anticorruption Directorate (DNA) are accusing Adrian Ionel, director general of state-owned Unifarm SA, the country’s largest drug distributor, of one count of corruption and one count of abuse of power, Romanian media reports.

According to the arraignment, Ionel (pictured above), asked for a commission of RON 5,810,175 (EUR 1.2 million), or 18 percent of the total value of the contract, in exchange for awarding a protective suits and gloves contract to an unnamed private company. The private company was supposed to deliver 250,000 protective suits and 3 million surgical masks. Of the total delivery, the first batch of one million masks didn’t even meet surgical mask standards and were a type intended for general use.

Ionel is also accused of fabricating the procurement documents. DNA prosecutors wrote that instead of the regular procurement process, the false documents pertained to describe, the whole deal was agreed upon between a Unifarm employee – a subordinate of Ionel – and the representative of the private firm in a Bucharest restaurant.

After delivering only the one million substandard masks and 26,000 protective suits, the company unilaterally terminated the contract, and Ionel and his associate have never been paid.

In addition, Ionel is also accused of having held two positions at the state-owned company between 2016 and 2020, first as a member of the supervisory board, a position he used to vote to appoint himself as director general. In the four years between June 2016 and May 2020, Ionel received a combined, accumulated salary of RON 498,722 (€103,000).

Ionel, however, was not arrested but only ordered to remain in the capital of Bucharest for the duration of the trial.

Title image: Adrian Ionel, director general of state-owned Unifarm SA. (source: Facebook)


Author: Dénes Albert