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News brief: Former CME boss Sârbu arrested

Romanian media tycoon Adrian Sârbu, the main shareholder in Mediafax Group and former president of Central European Media Enterprises (CME) was arrested an detained for 24 hours on Monday, accused of money laundering, embezzlement and tax fraud.

According to local reports, the Romanian state prosecutor’s office has alleged that Mediafax Group set up a scheme involving the creation of dummy companies to avoid paying a tax bill amounting to about RON4 million (US$1 million).

Sârbu reportedly alleged that his arrest was politically motivated and intended to force the closure or sale of Mediafax’s properties to groups aligned with leading politicians.