Romanian court clears Lukoil companies and managers of money laundering accusations
The Prahova Court acquitted, in a retrial, the companies Petrotel Lukoil and Lukoil Holland accused of fraud and money laundering in a case initiated by former prosecutor Mircea Negulescu.
The sentence is not final and can be appealed by prosecutors at the Ploiesti Court of Appeal, according to G4media.ro.
Romanian prosecutors announced in August 2016 that they had completed their investigations into alleged fraud at the local Lukoil refinery. They indicted the Russian-owned Petrotel refinery, its Russian director-general, and five other officials.
The prosecutors estimated the losses to the state at RON 7.6 bln (EUR 1.76 bln) and seized shares and bank accounts of companies belonging to the Lukoil Group worth EUR 2 bln.
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 firms within the group.
The Prahova Court's ruling in December 2020 clears all the group's officials involved. Former general manager of Petrotel Lukoil, Andrey Iurevich Bogdanov, has also been acquitted of alleged misuse of the company's capital and money laundering.
The Russian citizens Alexey Voinstev and Olga Kuzina, deputy general managers of Petrotel Lukoil, the Moldovan citizen Andrei Rata, a member of the refinery's Board of Directors, Dan Danulescu, another deputy general manager of Petrotel Lukoil, and Dorel Dutu, chief accountant of the company, were acquitted as well.
The court decided to revoke the precautionary measures on the Petrotel Lukoil refinery worth almost EUR 1.7 billion.
(Photo source: Petrotel.lukoil.com)