Romania: Lukoil’s management cleared of money laundering charges

, SEE Energy News

In August 2016, Romanian prosecutors announced that they had completed their investigations into alleged fraud at the Lukoil refinery. They indicted the Russian-owned Petrotel refinery, its Russian director-general, and five other officials on money laundering charges.

The Prahova Court acquitted, in a retrial, the companies Petrotel Lukoil and Lukoil Holland and its management accused of fraud and money laundering. The ruling is not final and can be appealed by prosecutors at the Ploiesti Court of Appeal.

The prosecutors estimated the losses to the state at 1.76 billion euros and seized shares and bank accounts of companies belonging to the Lukoil Group worth over 2 million euros.

Some of the accusations concern transfer pricing practices between 2011-2014 when the refinery’s managers concluded contracts for the purchase of crude oil and for the sale of petroleum products at prices that were not favorable to the company, the prosecutors concluded. Separately, there were allegations related to financial contracts with companies within the group.