06BUCHAREST1747 / 2006-11-17 16:45:00
Embassy Bucharest
                S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 04 BUCHAREST 001747 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 11/16/2016 
     B. BUCHAREST 1694 
Classified By: Ambassador Nicholas F. Taubman for Reasons 1.4(b) and (d 
1. (C) Summary: FBI Director Robert Mueller's November 14 
visit to Bucharest sent a strong message about our continued 
commitment to our growing partnership in law enforcement and 
intelligence.  In meetings with President Basescu, Prime 
Minister Tariceanu, and other key officials, our Romanian 
interlocutors called for further bilateral cooperation to 
develop the skills, legislation, and capabilities to 
effectively fight corruption, cyber crime, organized crime, 
trafficking in persons, and terrorism.  This emphasis was 
both a reflection of how valuable law enforcement cooperation 
and assistance have been to date, as well as a signal that 
senior officials like Basescu believe that important 
challenges remain in fighting corruption, trafficking in 
persons, money laundering, and terrorism as Romania emerges 
as a key state on the common NATO and the EU border.  Mueller 
heard throughout his visit concerns about the growing 
influence of Russian organized crime in Romania and in the 
region as a whole, and the important role played by the SECI 
Center.  Mueller's private and public statements on the need 
to fight corruption delivered a strong message that the U.S. 
stands beside Romania and expects it to continue such efforts 
at a time when the political will may be waning.  End Summary. 
2. (S) FBI Director Robert Mueller visited Bucharest on 
November 14, meeting with the President, Prime Minister, 
Justice and Interior Ministers, Prosecutor General, and the 
directors of the internal and external intelligence agencies. 
 In a thirty minute meeting with President Basescu, Mueller 
expressed his gratitude for Romania's outstanding cooperation 
in the law enforcement field and his readiness to deepen the 
relationship further.  Basescu commented that he, too, felt 
the relationship could be expanded, and stressed that he 
would like to see the FBI's presence in Romania to be as 
robust as that of the CIA.  Mueller spoke of the importance 
of working on a bilateral basis, which was the best setting 
for developing relationships and law enforcement cooperation. 
 Basescu assured the Director that there was less corruption 
today in the Romanian police force and that the U.S. side 
could trust its Romanian counterparts.  Mueller commented 
that to the extent Romania was seen by the U.S. and its other 
allies as tackling corruption, putting corrupt officials 
behind bars, its image would improve.  Basescu made a strong 
pitch for continued law enforcement training and support in 
order to upgrade its capabilities as it faced threats from 
the east -- for instance, helping prosecutors and judges 
fight money laundering. "Your experience is exceptionally 
good," the Romanian president commented, "and we want you to 
transfer as much as possible." 
3. (S) Mueller also met with Prime Minister Calin Popescu 
Tariceanu, highlighting Romania's growing visibility as a 
source for cyber crime.  Tariceanu's surprise was evident 
when the Director reported that, for instance, ninety percent 
of cybercrime on e-bay originated in Romania, and that Pay 
Pal will no longer do business with Romania.  (In a 
subsequent conversation with us, the PM's chief of staff 
Mihnea Constantinescu confirmed that the Prime Minister was 
taken aback by this information, and wants to find ways his 
government can work together more effectively with us to 
combat cyber crime.)  For his turn, Tariceanu put emphasis on 
the important role of the Bucharest based Southeast European 
Cooperative Initiative (SECI) Center in addressing 
trans-border crime.  He stated that a continued, strong USG 
investment was vital for its future success. The PM added 
that a "new dimension" for SECI would be greater 
participation by Black Sea states, which were very interested 
in expanding their cooperation in fighting narcotics 
smuggling and trafficking in persons through the SECI center. 
 Tariceanu said he was "very much preoccupied" by the 
pressure from "criminal gangs" operating out of the former 
Soviet Union, including within Romania, citing the energy and 
aluminum sectors in particular. 
Justice and Corruption 
4. (C) A highlight of the visit was the meeting with Minister 
of Justice Monica Macovei. Mueller's press statements 
received widespread televised coverage, emphasizing U.S. 
support for Macovei's anti-corruption efforts and successful 
cooperation in law enforcement. (Note: This was a well-timed 
public show of support for Macovei since Romanian lawmakers 
have resisted Macovei's attempts to curb corruption, 
BUCHAREST 00001747  002 OF 004 
evidenced by their current opposition to the creation of an 
effective National Integrity Agency to monitor officials' 
illegitimate incomes (reftel A). End Note.) Macovei briefed 
Mueller on Romania's difficulties in establishing special 
courts for corruption cases against government officials and 
for organized crime cases.  She added, however, that these 
courts were starting to function.  It was new territory for a 
Romanian system that in the past never tackled these 
difficult issues. 
5. (C)  Mueller told Romania's new Prosecutor General Laura 
Kovesi that the FBI was willing to support her office through 
training and other support for prosecutors and investigators. 
 He also expressed his hope that U.S.-Romanian collaboration 
on prosecuting cyber crime would grow.  Kovesi agreed, 
pointing out that most of the cyber crime cases Romania 
investigates involve victims in the United States.  She added 
that the quick and efficient exchange of information and the 
setting up of joint teams would be essential to fighting 
cyber crime. Kovesi said she would welcome the FBI's insights 
on Romanian legislation, investigative techniques, and 
especially on managing information. Mueller suggested that an 
essential tool to address public corruption was the 
capability to intercept phone calls and the legal ability to 
use them in court.  He said the FBI would be happy to help 
Romania on investigations, data management, legislation, and 
training, inviting Kovesi to visit Washington and its FBI 
6. (C)   In a meeting with Interior Minister Vasile Blaga, a 
key Basescu ally, Mueller noted that in addition to the war 
on terrorism, investigation of public corruption remained a 
priority issue. Blaga thanked the Director for the FBI's 
support, and noted that he had created a General Directorate 
for Anticorruption (DGA) based on a Scotland Yard model to 
fight corruption within the ministry. Unfortunately, he 
added, corruption remained endemic, with some 700 Romanian 
officials investigated on corruption charges in the past 
year.  Mueller underscored that globalization and the spread 
of high technology fostered new challenges including cyber 
crime and trafficking, making it imperative to develop law 
enforcement relationships across national borders and 
jurisdictions. Blaga said he appreciated USG-led training 
opportunities, adding that the Task Force model introduced by 
the FBI had improved Romanian capabilities, including the 
ability to combat TIP and cyber-crime. He acknowledged that 
cyber-crime and credit card fraud were growing problems, but 
stressed that Romania was working to improve multilateral 
cooperation including with the US, the UK, and Spanish 
7. (C)  Blaga said he hoped the "exceptional" relationship at 
the SECI center would continue in the future, and promised 
that he would continue to "harmonize" steps on SECI's future 
with the U.S.  He said Brussels had provided an analysis on 
future SECI relations with EURPOL, which had concluded that 
the two institutions were complementary.   While there was 
still some "reserve" on the part of EURPOL regarding SECI, 
Romania had clearly stated its preference to the EU for 
continued cooperation with SECI. He added that both Germany 
and Austria were also supportive of SECI. He warned, however, 
that there might be "legal" problems involving data sharing 
with non-EU SECI partners (including Moldova and the Western 
Balkans) after January 2007. 
8.  (C) At a subsequent luncheon, Blaga said Romania needed 
to reassess its counter-terrorist strategy, including 
readjusting the division of responsibilities between the 
police, judicial organs and the intelligence agencies. He 
agreed with the current structure that gave Romanian 
intelligence agencies the primary role in coordinating CT 
matters, but argued that after a terrorist incident, Romanian 
police and public prosecutors should take the lead. He added 
that the current Anti-Terrorist Bureau (ATB) lacked expertise 
in "pure" police work. Blaga said President Basescu had 
assented to transferring some authorities over the ATB from 
the intelligence to the police side. While the intelligence 
function of the ATB would remain with the intelligence 
services, other parts of the organization dealing with 
response and protection would be transferred to the 
Gendarmerie. Blaga recounted how the kidnapping of three 
Romanian journalists in Iraq had underscored the difficulties 
in coordinating disparate intelligence and policing organs 
and had led to new initiatives to create an "intelligence 
community" within the Presidency and to the drafting of new 
legislation including a Homeland Security law. In response to 
a query from the Director about the potential terrorist 
threat posed by indigenous Muslim communities, Blaga 
responded that while there were approximately 50,000 Romanian 
BUCHAREST 00001747  003 OF 004 
Muslims, they had not to date posed a problem. 
9. (C) Mueller also visited the Southeast European 
Cooperative Initiative (SECI) Center to highlight the FBI's 
strong support for the institution and to have a chance to 
meet with liaison officers assigned there.  Director Mitja 
Mocnik highlighted for Mueller the technical improvements 
SECI had made in the last year, setting up national focal 
points in each member country and implementing a video 
teleconferencing system. Mocnik emphasized that U.S. 
cooperation and support for SECI was vital. Mocnik said most 
SECI members were not EU members, so it would not make sense 
for the EU to impose its rules; SECI was complementary to 
Europol not competitive. Countries like Germany, Austria, and 
the Netherlands had made their interest in SECI clear to 
cooperate on their own operations. He said the regional 
cooperation between Customs and Police in this region was 
unique. He pointed out SECI's role in recent trafficking in 
persons cases, including one case that resulted in the arrest 
of 95 people. Mocnik added that the growing requests SECI 
receives shows that member countries are realizing they have 
access to use SECI as a tool. Mueller encouraged Mocnik to 
publicize better SECI's involvement in solving cases and 
offered to send an analyst to help SECI highlight successes. 
Intelligence Services 
10. (S) Another highlight of the visit was the FBI Director's 
meeting with new Romanian Intelligence Service Director (SRI) 
George Maior. While Maior drew attention to the fact that 
Romanian membership in the EU would require Romania to make 
"certain adaptations" in its interaction with the U.S., the 
"special relationship" with the U.S. would continue to be a 
priority for Romania. Maior agreed with Mueller's assessment 
on the need to share information and said the bilateral 
cooperation would continue regardless of Romania's accession 
to the EU. He appreciated and welcomed additional U.S. help 
to make SRI more efficient. Mueller took note of Maior's 
upcoming visit to Washington in January and invited him to 
visit Quantico. 
11. (S) Maior said the SRI had launched a transformation 
process and was moving resources to counter emerging threats. 
He said terrorism was a concern that ranked high on Romania's 
list--not because of a perceived danger within Romania--but 
for solidarity and cooperation with allies. Maior pointed to 
"growing Russian influence and interests in Romania" as 
Romania's top internal security priority in the coming years, 
especially in the energy field. A third priority was 
developing new capabilities in combating organized crime, 
noting the "Russian factor" was very evident in organized 
crime in Romania. Maior also listed Romania's interest in 
developing more capability in countering cyber crimes. He 
also cited the "American bases" (joint military facilities) 
and a potential focus on both terrorism and Russian 
influence. Illegal migration and drug trafficking was another 
vital issue, particularly since Romania has the longest 
European border with Ukraine and Moldova. Lastly, Maior 
mentioned SRI's focus on counter-proliferation. Maior noted 
the good cooperation the SRI has had with the FBI during the 
last few years and he thanked the FBI for its role in helping 
Romania's SRI to modernize, adapt, and train in areas such as 
counter-terrorism and counter-intelligence. 
12. (S) Maior welcomed ideas on how Romania could work with 
the U.S., noting he "really believes in strong cooperation." 
Maior said that Romania was attempting to create a true 
intelligence community and that SRI's cooperation with the 
External Intelligence Service (SIE) was developing well. 
Maior said they were at the difficult stage of changing 
legislation. Mueller suggested one important tool to counter 
public corruption and terrorism was the plea bargain to 
provide a real incentive for cooperation.  Mueller advised 
the SRI chief to keep the criminal justice system in mind 
when looking for intelligence sources and that wire 
intercepts should be useable in court, since there was 
nothing more effective than using the words of the individual 
in a trial. He commented that Europe tends to use wire 
intercepts solely for intelligence, but that U.S. prosecutors 
could not imagine doing their job without such key pieces of 
evidence to use in court. Maior said too often the European 
debate was framed in abstract terms due to a "lack of 
experience facing the big problems," and that even in Romania 
there was an ongoing intense public debate on the mixture 
between intelligence and the judicial system. Maior argued, 
however, that "we can't fight new threats without adapting." 
Maior's first deputy added that the SRI aimed to develop a 
program of using undercover officers in coordination with 
BUCHAREST 00001747  004 OF 004 
prosecutors and the SIE. He said it was in the law but not 
yet functioning and that they would more than welcome the 
FBI's assistance to develop such methods and programs. He 
believed such a program would be essential for countering 
Russian influence, organized crime, and terrorism. Mueller 
responded that the FBI would be happy to focus on helping 
Romania develop undercover officers. 
13. (S) At the External Intelligence Service headquarters, 
director Claudiu Saftoiu told FBI Director Mueller that 
Romania wants to strengthen the strategic partnership. 
Saftoiu noted, however, that Romanians considered terrorism 
something far away and that the public was not convinced to 
move forward with laws establishing a national security 
community. Mueller thanked Saftoiu for support in Iraq and 
Afghanistan, but also cautioned that Romania's support for 
the U.S. had not gone unnoticed by terrorist groups like Al 
Qaeda. He mentioned a concern that terrorists would seek to 
enter Europe via Romania. 
14. (S) Saftoiu promised that Romania would stay with the 
U.S. in Iraq and Afghanistan and said Romania hoped the U.S. 
would, in return, support Romania in the Black Sea region to 
help stabilize it. Saftoiu also mentioned the difficulties 
Romania was having in creating a national intelligence 
community. Saftoiu said Russia remained the critical 
immediate and growing threat, both in terms of its reach into 
Romania's economy and its control of energy markets. Mueller 
mentioned Mikhail Chernoy's RAFO purchase (reftel B) and 
promised to provide information on Chernoy to help Romania 
take some of the "tough political measures" Saftoiu indicated 
were being considered. Saftoiu said another oil company, OMV, 
may sell its stake in OMV-Petrom to Russian companies. 
Mueller also noted Romania's emergence as a hub for cyber 
crime and commented on the counter-intelligence threat 
similar hackers have become working for Russia and China. 
Mueller invited Saftoiu to visit the FBI in addition to the 
CIA when he comes to Washington in March 2007. 

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