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Officials charged with taking bribes for corpses

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December 18, 2013 06:27 AM EST | AP


BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — A prosecutor says 26 Romanian police officers and ambulance employees have been charged with calling undertakers to tell them someone had died — or in some cases were not yet declared dead — in exchange for money.

Officials say suspects called funeral parlor managers about people who had died in car accidents or had collapsed on the street. Prosecutor Corina Paraschivescu told The Associated Press Wednesday that 26 officials had been charged and six were under arrest.

Health Ministry official Raed Arafat said officials had been aware of the case for months and said in some cases they involved people no officially declared dead.

Media reports said officials got up to 170 euros ($235) for information on a fresh corpse.