Romanian media tycoon arrested for helping convict flee


BUCHAREST, Romania -- Media magnate Sorin Ovidiu Vantu was arrested on Thursday (September 9th) for allegedly helping a fraud convict flee the country. Vantu, who owns the media group Realitatea-Catavencu, which includes three television channels and several weekly newspapers, is suspected of transferring huge sums to the bank accounts of Nicolae Popa, a fugitive who fled the country in 2006 after being sentenced to 15 years in prison for organising a pyramid scheme called FNI. The scheme collapsed in 2000, with nearly 300,000 Romanians losing their investments. Since the state issued guarantees to the company, it had to pay over 100m euros in compensation. Vantu, currently one of Romania's richest men, allegedly also had an interest in FNI, but prosecutors lacked the evidence to tie him to it directly. (AFP, DPA,, Realitatea, Romania Libera, Adevarul, Gandul - 09/09/10)

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