BUCHAREST, Romania – Romanian prosecutors have arrested a district mayor on charges of taking bribes and money laundering, the latest high-level figure to face corruption charges.
Bucharest district mayor Marian Vanghelie, an influential figure in the ruling Social Democracy Party until recently, was arrested Saturday and charged with taking a 20 percent cut of contracts worth 2 billion lei ( 450 million euros or $475 million ) from 2007 until 2015. He denies wrongdoing.
Prime Minister Victor Ponta Saturday said Saturday he was supporting Finance Minister Darius Valcov, who is suspected of favoring a local businessman when he was mayor of the city of Slatina in exchange for a 20 percent cut. Prosecutors, who charged him with influence-peddling, said Friday he received 2 million euros ($2.1 million) between 2010 and 2013. He denies wrongdoing.
Prosecutors have launched a series of high-level corruption investigations in the past year.