BUCHAREST, Romania – Romanian police say a fugitive businessman sentenced to seven years in prison for real estate fraud has been detained by British police.
Police said Gabriel Popoviciu, who was sentenced on Aug. 2 in Bucharest, handed himself in Monday after Romanian police found him at a London address. Justice Minister Tudorel Toader said Romania would start extradition proceedings.
Prosecutors said that the 58-year-old Popoviciu obtained land in north Bucharest from a state university from 2000 to 2004 at a vastly undervalued price where he built the capital's best-known mall. The High Court for Cassation and Justice sentenced him for illegally acquiring the land. He denies wrongdoing.
The ex-rector of the University of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine Nicolae Alecu was sentenced in the same case to six years for official misconduct.