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Wednesday 26 October 2016

Romania detains man 'for giving false information to Sky News'

Published 11/08/2016 | 22:21

The report has caused a furore in Romania
The report has caused a furore in Romania

Romanian organised crime prosecutors have detained a man they allege appeared on a British television news report claiming that gangs are trafficking guns in Romania.

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Atilla Csaba Pantics was detained on suspicion of being complicit to communicating false information, being in a criminal group and illegally possessing weapons, prosecutors said.

Prosecutors said three other men featured this week in a Sky News report entitled Gang Selling AK-47s 'Bound For Western Europe' also face charges.

The report, where reporters met alleged illegal arms dealers in a remote corner of Romania who said they would sell weapons to terrorists, has caused a furore in Romania.

Mihaela Porime, a spokeswoman for the prosecutors' agency, said five Romanians have been questioned and had their homes searched, where legal hunting guns were found.

Ms Porime said the investigation revealed that Sky paid an intermediary 1,000 euro (£859), while the other four were paid 1,000 euro between them.

Sky News chief correspondent Stuart Ramsay denies payment was made.

Prime minister Dacian Ciolos added his voice to the controversy, saying it was "unacceptable ... to denigrate a country without proof".

Chief organised crime prosecutor Daniel Horodniceanu called the report "a set-up by British journalists".


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