Croatia, Sandor Fasimon steps down as INA’s CEO, SEE Energy News
Croatian oil company INA said that its CEO Sandor Fasimon has resigned amidst the investigation on illegal natural gas trading by the company’s lower level management.
The statement from the company said that, despite no involvement in any of the illegal practices that are being investigated, Fasimon has offered his resignation as president of the Management Board of INA. He stated that, as the President of the Management Board, he is accountable and feels moral responsibility for all activities of the company, irrespective of the due care exercised. He will continue to perform its duties as CEO until the appointment of his successor .
In addition, Croatian Government said that it will propose that all Croatian members of INA’s Management Boards should be relieved of their duties.
In late August, On 27 August, Croatia’s anti- corruption office (USKOK) launched an operation in which five persons were arrested, including INA’s executive Damir Skugor, on suspicion of illegal gas trading and money laundering. Namely, the suspects allegedly took advantage of the constant rise in natural gas prices on the global market, with OMS Ulaganja buying gas below market prices from Plinara Istocna Slavonija, which had a gas purchase agreement with INA at favorable prices, and selling it on the international market at market prices. They allegedly spent the money thus obtained on the purchase of real estate. Investigator claim that the suspects were purchasing gas from INA at 19.5 euros and were selling at the price of 28 euros. Damages to INA are estimated over 130 million euros.
Hungarian oil and gas company MOL is the largest shareholder in INA with a 49.08 % stake, followed by the Croatian Government with 44.84 %.