Following an investigation by the Romanian anticorruption agency, National Anticorruption Directorate, also known as DNA, Romanian prosecutors have charged French executive Bruno Roche in connection with corruption allegations surrounding the operation of Apa Nova Bucuresti (Apa Nova), the Romanian branch of Veolia Group.
The French-owned Veolia Group provides water, waste management and energy services to 17 European countries, including the sewage and water system in Bucharest. Roche is a former Apa Nova CEO, having served from 2008 to 2013. In charging documents, DNA prosecutors said that Roche and others created fictitious contracts and set up secret bank accounts to transfer millions of euros in bribes to Bucharest officials and businessmen, who, in return, approved significant price increases in the company’s favor. DNA further alleged that Apa Nova hired former intelligence service workers to spy on company employees to prevent them from releasing incriminating information.
After Roche was formally charged with bribery and influence peddling, he was placed under judicial supervision for 60 days. Prosecutors continue to investigate Roche’s successor, Laurent Lalague, who was Apa Nova’s CEO from 2013 until June 2015. A former advisor to the Bucharest mayor and a former party treasurer are among several Romanians also arrested in connection with the investigation.