400 people interviewed, hundreds of hours of recordings and footage and no suspect arrested – this is the result of two years of investigation in the case of the murder of Ioan Crișan, the businessman from Arad, who died after the car he was driving exploded . In a response to Playtech.ro, the Prosecutor’s Office attached to the High Court of Cassation and Justice said that the investigations in this file are still being carried out in rem, that is, the fact is being investigated, not the person. Sources from the investigation said that the people who were connected to the attack are foreign nationals.
Killed on command or by accident
“After 1989, there were other such attempts in: Suceava, Neamț, Bucharest, some were thwarted, in other cases those who tried to operate in this way ended up detonating themselves.
Never in the 30 years have we faced such a situation”, said Lucian Bode, the Minister of the Interior, two years ago, in a press conference in Timișoara.
On the morning of May 29, 2021, the Arad firefighters were called to intervene in a car fire. After extinguishing the flames, rescuers found the charred body of a 66-year-old man. The victim – Ioan Crișan had his coffee on the terrace of a nearby restaurant and got into his car to go to work, but after driving only a few meters the car exploded.
The doctors could do nothing to save his life. Lucian Bode, the Minister of the Interior, announced then that the best specialists were called to solve the case.
“The Ministry of Internal Affairs involved and is involving, for the solution of the tragedy in Arad, the best specialists, sufficient resources that we put at the disposal of the prosecutor of the case, in order for this tragedy to be elucidated, to find the culprits”, announced Lucian Bode in -a press conference two years ago.
A few hours after the explosion, the spokesperson of the Romanian Police declared that there is already a circle of suspects. Two years later, on May 9, Alexandru Florența, the one who took over the leadership of the Prosecutor’s Office attached to the High Court of Cassation and Justice, offered a rather slim balance sheet.
Several hypotheses have been formulated: suicide, contract killing, revenge or settling accounts. So far none has been denied or confirmed by investigators.
The Romanian Intelligence Service later stated that the hypothesis of a terrorist attack is excluded, and the officers carried out the pyrotechnic expertise together with those from the National Institute of Criminalistics.
No arrests have been made following the tragedy
“We inform you that, following the checks carried out at the Criminal Investigation and Criminalistics Section, it turned out that the criminal file you refer to is being processed, with the criminal investigation being carried out in rem”, says a response from the Public Prosecutor’s Office in addition to the High Court of Cassation and Justice for Playtech.ro.
Thus, two years after the tragedy, investigators are still investigating the act and not the person. A circle of suspects was formed, but no one was charged.
In 24 months after the tragedy, no less than 400 people were heard, including the victim’s family, friends, employees, but also people with whom the businessman had conflicts in the past.
In this case, the Romanian authorities are collaborating with other countries and have asked for help including Ukraine, the Republic of Moldova or Serbia, because there is information that foreign citizens from the circle of suspects managed to leave for these countries shortly after the attack.
- Prosecutors of the General Prosecutor’s Office framed the explosion from Arad to “qualified murder with premeditation”after initially investigating the crime of murder.
Killed by foreign mercenaries
There is information according to which Ioan Crișan was killed by mercenaries from Serbia, the Republic of Moldova or Ukraine who came to Arad to kill him, placing an explosive in his car, after which they fled either to the Nădlac customs house or to Moravița, and since then they have been lost.
One of the officers from Arad told that the team from Bucharest found pieces of the keyboard of a telephone at the scene of the explosion “as if it was an Alcatel or something similar, with buttons, and then one of the policemen from Bucharest said: “Boss, they beat him with the phone!”, notes Special de Arad.
Another lead considered by the investigators at one point was that the man was killed by a group that was involved in cigarette smuggling, but after months, the version fell because no links of the man were found business with such a group.
The firefighters who extinguished the fire looked in the trunk of the car for an LPG system, something that could explain the explosion, but the back of the car was intact, they did not find any problems with the hood either. The heaviest burning occurred under the driver’s seat, where the explosive is suspected to have been placed.
The autopsy confirmed the identity of the businessman and shows that he died a few seconds after the car blew up. At the same time, the investigators discovered two types of DNA on the explosive in the businessman’s car.
According to witnesses, part of the windows on the 1st floor of the building were broken following the explosion of the car when leaving the parking lot of a supermarket.
What did Ioan Crișan do and who inherited the businesses
Ioan Crişan was the owner of some African catfish farms in Eastern Europe, set up for several years in the perimeter of a former hemp factory located a few kilometers from the city of Arad.
The farm has 22 pools fed with thermal water from a 900-meter deep borehole, and some of them are populated by tens of tons of fish.
Ioan Crişan brought a few crocodiles to a thermal pool, with the intention of developing in the future a farm that would produce crocodile meat, sought after in restaurants in some western countries, where he also exported African catfish.
He started his catfish business on December 1, 2007, and got his aquaculture license in November 2008. He borrowed money from the bank and friends to start the business.
His daughter is the one who inherited and took over the transport company, but also the farm and she managed to reduce the former businessman’s debts. These debts totaled 488,000 lei, but after taking over the business, his daughter managed to reduce the debts to 36,000 lei.