Romanian police detain former anti-money laundering head over fraud

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Romanian police said they had detained the former head of the government's anti-money laundering agency late on Saturday pending a criminal investigation for fraud, accusing him of forging his high school graduation certificate.

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The police said they had detained Laurentiu Baranga for 24 hours. He declined comment to journalists after his arrest.

Baranga was appointed to head the European Union state's agency for the prevention and control of money laundering in early September. He resigned his post on October 8, the government said on Saturday.

Police said Baranga, who is 53, lied about graduating high school and later used forged documents to pursue university and post-graduate degrees in management, which helped him secure high-clearance jobs at state institutions.

Prior to heading the anti-money laundering agency, Baranga served as deputy director of the country's classified information registry for 11 years. He is also a professor at a local engineering college.

“(Baranga) is under investigation for deceiving several public institutions by filing forged degrees with his job applications, which were later annulled in court,” police said in a statement.

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