Home » Entertainment » State to state. Illegal asylum, disguised as a pension. What apparently the town hall, the police and no other institution knew, the whole village knew

State to state. Illegal asylum, disguised as a pension. What apparently the town hall, the police and no other institution knew, the whole village knew

In the eyes of the video camera, mayor Emil Picu was angry. Photo: Captured by Digi24 TV

The clandestine nursing home business thrives under the noses of the authorities. Many times, government authorities turn a blind eye and pretend they don’t see the illegality around them. Thus, they become complicit in the suffering of these people and thus they try hard to avoid fate. In Pietroșani, in the county of Teleorman, an asylum that has been operating for years, a few hundred meters from the City Hall, under the screen of a tourist pension. The adults who stayed here were considered… visitors. Neighbors recount how they used to beg hungry for a corner of bread through the beams of the fence. Although the whole village knew that there was an asylum here, the local authorities and the police shrugged their shoulders and said that they knew nothing. Moreover, the mayor of the commune refused to say if he knew about the existence of the asylum and kicked the Digi24 team out of the office because he did not want to be filmed. Watch a new episode of the State to State campaign.

The neighbors’ testimony is disturbing. Try to imagine how… several old people, or young people with health problems who can no longer take care of themselves, begging hunger, a corner of bread, through the bars of a fence.

Women: I could hear them all day, everyone here could hear them. Say, babo, that he was asking you for bread, they don’t eat.
Reporter: How?
Women: That he was asking them for bread.
Reporter: The poor were begging for food, weren’t they?
Women: Well, yes, they had nothing to eat, because it was with portions, bread, the food he asked for, as the grandmother would say.
Reporter: Did they ask the neighbors?
Women: Yes, they were asking because they were watching where they put this net…, which was passing…, but he was calling Dida, his sons, he asked them for bread because he didn’t there is nothing a… the portions were not enough, for 20 cents and four Bulgarian bread, what will be enough for them… three meals?

The old man in the picture lives with his daughter, the fence and the ghost asylum. Unwillingly, many times, he witnessed the suffering of people here. He could hear the cries of the poor people as he worked in the house.

Women: There was also a young woman, there were also old people, the old people shouted at them, why don’t you give them food, why don’t you give them food, that you are dying of hunger, that we are dying…, I don’t know, it’s so I heard them. They called that, to feed them, because they were hungry… Unwashed, they were dirty, they were… I don’t know anything else, they called that because they were dirty, that…

During the day, the elders took care of two women in the village who had no training in gardening. The authorities found them… with the lock on the door.

It was miserable there, 18 adults are kept in four rooms, locked with a key”

Mihăiță Ghimiş, suspension of the director of AJPIS Teleorman: It was really sad there, the 18 adults were kept in four rooms, locked and locked, one alone, a woman from the commune, from there, said “I’m staying there, another woman will come tomorrow”.

While I was talking to the neighbors, the gate of the clandestine asylum opened and a car came out.

Reporter: Hello, my name is Toma Petcu, from Digi24, can we talk for a second?
Girll modelname: No, I’m sorry, I’m busy.
Reporter: Are you the son of the owner of the house here?
l modelname: A positive day.
Reporter: We wanted to ask you how you operated illegally for so many years, your asylum!?

The first question that comes to mind is: how was it possible? In the documents, the asylum was marked as an agro-tourism guesthouse, and the people staying here were … beware … visitors.

Haralambie Epure, prefect of Teleorman county: Unfortunately, it could not be found out, at least by the investigation and control bodies, because it had a different CAEN code. This CAEN code was for agritourism guesthouses.

Therefore, no state authority ever knocked on the owners’ doors to see what was happening behind the walls. The business flourished right under the nose of the local authorities who should have notified the state control institutions. Neither the mayor nor any other official moved a finger. Did he not know what the whole village knew? Moreover, the asylum even had a website on which it clearly advertised its services and tried to attract new customers.

“The mayor knew everything, he knew everything, but he was a beautiful lady, what can we do, this!”

Reporter: Didn’t City Hall know that?
Women: Well, the mayor knew everything, he knew everything, but she was a beautiful lady, what can we do, that’s it!

I went to the city hall. In the eyes of the camera, mayor Emil Picu gets angry. He firmly conveys that he only wants us to have a private discussion and the camera must stay out.

Reporter: Toma Petcu is my name.
Emil Picu, mayor of Pietroșani: Wait a minute, did you ask me for permission to film? Please stop the video and let’s talk. It seems common sense to me, that is, you go ahead and start filming.
Reporter: Wait a minute. No, put the camera up, not put the camera down. The camera is working.
Emil Picu: Well, why should he go?
Reporter: Camera included.
Emil Picu: Then please, let’s get out of my office.
Reporter: Let’s get out of your office, let’s get out of the town hall?
Emil Picu: You don’t have to ask my consent to give an interview, because you are filming me or you don’t need my consent?
Reporter: Camera…
Emil Picu: No, answer me if you need my consent or not?!
Reporter: Of course it does, but it’s…
Emil Picu: Then it’s positive, I’ll tell you like this – close the camera and let’s talk, if you want to talk, if you want to film, but with me, no.
Reporter: You don’t want to know why I came?
Emil Picu: Well, I see you want to force me to understand why you came.
Reporter: I do not want to force you at all, my camera works because I am in a public institution and my camera works.
Emil Picu: Well, stay here, but there is no filming in my office.
Reporter: That’s fine, but maybe you stay in the room.

The mayor locked himself in his office. We are trying to find out from the deputy mayor how it was possible for the asylum to function during the year two steps away from the City Hall and nobody did anything. The answer is delusional: he had little reason to be interested.

Vice Mayor: But I wasn’t interested either, what interested me like them…

Deputy Mayor: I did not know, sir!
Reporter: Sir, I was born in the country too, believe me, the people in the village know what they do, what they do, especially you who are the vice mayor and…
Deputy Mayor: Well, I was screwed for two years.
Reporter: There are no problems.
Deputy Mayor: I used to have my work further away.
Reporter: And you did not know?
Deputy Mayor: But I wasn’t interested either, what interested me like them…

The police station is in the same yard as the town hall. In turn, the police officer is also in the same darkness: he did not see or hear anything.

The village policeman: I didn’t know anything about the asylum. We cannot know them all

Reporter: And you did not hear in the village that something illegal is operating there?
Police: No.
Reporter: Not at all.
Police: No. I didn’t know anything about the asylum.
Reporter: And you just found out how?
Police: Now he found out, when everyone found out, I found out too, but I don’t know more details, I don’t know.
Reporter: You should know what was happening, you as a police officer here in the city?
Police: We cannot know them all, you realize that I would like to know the population as well.
Reporter: It’s a small town.
Police: It is, but we have jurisdiction over a radius of 60 kilometers and we have to patrol, that is, it is a very large jurisdiction… Yes, I leave it to you that I have work at the station.
Reporter: I wish you success.

Everyone knew. Well, how did they give the burial certificate, City Hall for this young man?”

Pietroșani is a small town with a little more than 2,700 people. What, apparently, the City Hall, the police and any state institution knew, all the people living in the village knew.

Men: In the village he knew, we knew, if I told you that a few years ago…
Women: Everyone knew. Well, how did the town hall issue the burial certificate for this young man?
Reporter: Who died in the asylum?
Women: Yes. How did you find it?

Mayor, to the Digi24 reporter: The identity, let me see it, you have the duty order? Please leave the town hall

We were going back to Mr. Mayor Picu. Meanwhile, he invented another reason not to speak. He is not convinced that we are from Digi24.

Emil Picu, mayor of Pietroșani: The ID, come see it, you have the service order, we check it, that’s it.
Reporter: Would you like to check my work order? You know we do not work with the service order that we are not in the police here.
Emil Picu: You are in the town hall.
Reporter: Yes, I am in the town hall, because an illegality happened in your area, in the radius of your city.
Emil Picu: So once again, this is the mayor’s office, and please step outside.
Reporter: I want to know if you know this asylum.
Emil Picu: Please leave the town hall.
Reporter: Did you know that…
Emil Picu: It’s my right, please stop taking the leg, because it’s the mayor’s office.
Reporter: Mr. Mayor, calm down a bit.
Emil Picu: No, you calm down.
Reporter: I am very calm.
Emil Picu: You see that you want to force and bring out what you want.
Reporter: I do not force anything. I want to ask you if you knew that this asylum is operating illegally on the territory of your locality.
Emil Picu: I explain what you have to do, if you want to talk, I explain.
Reporter: This is how I work, I work on television, the camera is the object of my work, I work with it Mr. Mayor.

On July 13, the authorities closed the center, on July 24, the administrator posted a new accommodation offer on a social network.

The clandestine asylum was found out after a citizen’s report. On July 13, the authorities closed the center, and the owner filed a criminal case. Highlight 11 days later, on July 24, the administrator of the asylum posted on a social network a new promotional offer for accommodation for the elderly: 2,700 lei per month.

Finally, one question remains. How many of these clandestine asylums are still operating in Romania while the authorities and state employees pretend they don’t see them? No one knows the numbers. Another proof that the Romanian state becomes complicit in the drama of those people who, in addition to the suffering of spending the last years of their lives, alone, away from their loved ones, end up enduring hunger or sleeping nights in a dirty and unpleasant row .

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