Lukoil Refinery in Romania Closed over Tax Evasion, Money Laundering Probe
Romanian authorities have ordered the closure of Lukoil’s Petrotel refinery in Ploiesti, Romania.
Oleg Malginov, Russia’s Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to Romania, announced that the oil refinery had been closed sue to an investigation for tax evasion and money laundering.
Malginov, as cited by ITAR-TASS, pointed out that the halt of production would jeopardize the functioning of the entire production chain of Lukoil in Romania.
On October 2, Romanian prosecutors, police officers, and customs inspectors conducted searches at Petrotel on suspicion of tax evasion and money laundering worth an estimated EUR 230 M.
Meanwhile, Romania’s Prime Minister Victor Ponta expressed hopes that the probe would not cause damage to the country’s economy, stressing the large number of employees of the refinery.
He informed that the government would not interfere in the work of the judicial authorities.
Lukoil made clear Monday that it had filed a complaint with a Romanian court over the seizure of raw materials.
Lukoil Europe Holdings, which is part of Lukoil Group, holds a 97.1% stake in the Ploiesti-based oil refinery. Lukoil also owns 300 filling stations in Romania.