Former Baia Mare Mayor Catalin Kerekesh was detained by police last night in the German city of Augsburg. He fled Romania on Friday (November 24th) after being sentenced by the Cluj Court of Appeal to five years in prison for taking bribes. The man used the ID card of a relative he looked like to cross the Petya border crossing on the border with Hungary. The case caused a wave of resignations in the structures of the Ministry of Interior in Romania.

According to initial information from the German authorities, quoted by Digi24, the former mayor was captured while preparing to leave Germany. He was traveling with his aunt in the car, driving on the highway at nearly 200 km/h. The two arrived at the station in Augsburg and were trying to escape, probably by train or taxi. The man was arrested by Bavarian police and Germany's Federal Bureau of Criminal Investigations. The former mayor tried to resist arrest and was injured while trying to flee law enforcement officers.

"On the evening of November 28, 2023, after international police cooperation and exchange of data and information between Romanian police and authorities from Germany, Hungary, Austria and Italy, a 45-year-old man from Baia Mare, wanted internationally, was found and detained by the Bavarian police and the Federal Bureau of Criminal Investigations of Germany in Augsburg. It was revealed by external partners on the basis of information provided by the Romanian police. The competent court issued an order for the execution of the sentence of 5 years imprisonment in the name of the man, for a crime of bribery in a continued form," the Romanian police said.

Romanian mayor convicted of corruption fled abroad with taxi and identity card

Most likely, Kerekes would have gone to Germany to get the money he transported there in several installments - money he kept in safes in homes owned by his mother and her sister. The amount is about 1,500,000 euros. In testimony before the court, the former mayor admitted that he personally transported the money by car to Germany.

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