Behind bars Nine jailed for brutal killing of alleged Romanian pimp Virgil Busa in Meath
Romanian authorities allege Busa was killed on the orders of rival pimp Ioan Anton, known as ‘the Emperor’, who is currently in Ireland facing extradition to his native country
May 02 2021 08:30 AM
Nine people have been convicted in relation to the murder of a pimp.
Romanian Virgil Busa (37) died following a brutal attack at his apartment in Academy Square in Navan, Co Meath on April 10, 2014.
Romanian authorities allege he was killed on the orders of rival pimp Ioan Anton, known as ‘the Emperor’, who is currently in Ireland facing extradition to his native country in relation to the killing, and was previously on Europol’s Most Wanted list.
Authorities in Romania want Anton (43), who has an address in Hamlet Lane Balbriggan, Co Dublin, to be tried for allegedly creating an organised crime group which operated in Ireland and involved blackmail, incitement to commit murder and incitement to commit robbery.
As victim Virgil Busa and the suspects and witnesses were all of Romanian origin, gardai agreed to halt their investigation into the killing to allow authorities there to prosecute the case following discussions between the two jurisdictions.
Nine people were sentenced at the Bucharest Tribunal in relation to the case just over a week ago.
The highest sentence was handed down to Mihai Ionut Martinas, who was sentenced to 30 years in prison, followed by Nicolae Stanca, who got 20 years and two months. Gabriel Nicu Paunescu, Corneliu Virlezeanu, Ionut Pauc, Bogdan Ionut Susca, Ioan Bizau and Bogdan Marius Danci all received 19 years and six months, while Liviu Birligea was sentenced to nine years and 10 months in prison.
They were charged with offences including forming an organised criminal group, aggravated murder, attempted aggravated murder, aggravated robbery and complicity in aggravated robbery.
They can appeal the decision and only one of the defendants, Gabriel Nicu Paunescu, is under house arrest while the other eight are currently at large under judicial control.
In August 2016, the Romanian Directorate for Investigating Organised Crime and Terrorism (DIICOT) alleged that the main suspect in ordering Busa’s murder was Ioan Anton.
They allege that in or around 2008 and 2009 Ioan set up an organised criminal group in Ireland specialising in human trafficking and prostitution. They allege he recruited a prostitute in 2013 to “tour” Ireland, offering sex for sale in different cities and towns to avoid the attention of gardai.
It is alleged that in February 2014 the prostitute met Busa in Dublin and decided to “leave” Anton and work with his rival, who had his own prostitute network working out of properties in Dublin, Navan, Athlone and Wexford.
DIICOT said that while he was married, Busa “played the role of lover-boy” and told the woman he was in love with her and would help her without taking a cut from her earnings.
She then moved into Busa’s apartment in Dublin but when he placed an ad on an escort website advertising the woman’s services, Anton was alerted that she was working again.
Authorities allege this caused a feud between the two pimps over the control of prostitutes and Anton was also demanding payment from Busa.
The conflict escalated after Busa and three men armed with firearms forced their way into a brothel in Sandyford controlled by Anton in the early hours of April 7, 2014, and robbed €2,000 in takings.
Prosecutors in Romania allege that Anton then decided he wanted Busa dead and set a trap for him by putting people in place to watch him in the same apartment as he was living in.
Anton then summoned his associates to a meeting and provided them with weapons to kill Busa, it is alleged.
The gang then entered the apartment with crowbars and knives and attacked Busa and another person. Busa jumped from his balcony but was caught by the attackers who assaulted him until he became unconscious. He died in hospital days later.
Anton was arrested by gardai on a European Arrest Warrant in Dublin last year. The High Court also agreed to extradite another Romanian man, Petronel Pal, of Briarwood Lawn in Mulhuddart, Dublin, in relation to the Busa death but Pal, who is married to Anton’s niece, has appealed the decision.