The BMW affair. How Romanian police justify buying hundreds of BMWs from…

The BMW affair. How Romanian police justify buying hundreds of BMWs from Iohannis’ friend: police need powerful cars for traffic chases / 3 other car brands met the technical requirements but did not participate in the tender – Mercedes, Jaguar and Alfa Romeo

The Romanian police management on Monday publicly justified the purchase of at least 300 BMWs from Automobile Bavaria, a company owned by Michael Schmidt, a friend of President Klaus Iohannis.

General Inspector of the Romanian Police Benone Matei told a press conference two days after President Klaus Iohannis asked for clarification, that the police drew up the tender specifications following requests from the Traffic Police and with the support of the Logistics department.

Benone Matei said that although there was only one bidder, Automobile Bavaria, at least three other car models met the technical specifications. According to G4Media information, these are models of Mercedes, Jaguar and Alfa Romeo.

Asked by the G4Media reporter how they arrived at these extremely restrictive technical specifications, police chiefs said that the main purpose of the cars is to chase drivers who do not stop at signals and must be followed. Police spokesman Georgian Dragan said that in 2021 there were 3250 such cases, and this year – 2068.

Asked by the G4Media reporter if there are no other types of cars that would allow efficient traffic tracking, police chiefs said that the technical requirements are minimal, requiring powerful cars that can rival the cars over 2,000 cubic centimeters that entered Romania after the first registration tax was abolished in 2017.

At the insistence of the G4Media reporter about the technical data considered restrictive for the tender (automatic gearbox with minimum 8+1 gears, etc.), Georgian Drăgan said that the traffic police requested the technical specifications.

Police chiefs also said that they did not want to change the technical specifications even though no participant submitted to the 2021 tender. „We re-launched the tender this year with the same requirements because we could not decrease the quality required, but we increased the purchase price because the market changed,” Georgian Dragan replied to G4Media reporter’s question.

At the end of the conference, Chief Benone Matei, the head of the Romanian police, accused the Europol union, which had accused possible rigging of the tender, of „attempts to intimidate and put pressure on the police”.

Asked by the G4Media reporter if the total of 600 cars needed could not be divided into several batches in order to purchase cheaper vehicles, especially at a time when the government has called for spending restraint, police chiefs answered in the negative: „It is mandatory to have these specifications in order to provide safety to police officers”.

It should be recalled that the police have concluded a framework agreement with Automobile Bavaria for a minimum of 300 BMW 320 iX cars and a maximum of 600 at a price of 32,000 euros each. The Europol union, one of the largest in the police, criticized the purchasing criteria, saying they favored Michael Schmidt’s firm.


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