BUSINESS JUSTICE

Court supervision maintained for Lukoil case defendants

The six individual defendants indicted in the Lukoil tax evasion and money laundering case remain under court supervision, as the Prahova Court rejected on Tuesday the defendants’ requests to have the court restriction lifted; the court ordered instead the confinement for 60 days running from August 4 to October 2, Agerpres informs.

The judges also ruled the replacement of the ban on defendants Olga Kuzina, Andrei Rata and Alxey Voinstev from leaving Bucharest and Ilfov County, respectively, with a ban from leaving Romania, while keeping the rest of the restrictions imposed by the prosecuting authority.

The decision is not final and can be appealed within 48 hours of notification.

The prosecutors of the Ploiesti Court of Appeal on Monday indicted eight defendants in the Lukoil case – six individuals and two legal entities.

Companies Petrotel Lukoil Ploiesti and Lukoil Europe Holdings Netherlands are charged with money laundering and complicity in using the company’s credit in bad faith and complicity in money laundering.

Also formally charged were six Petrotel – Lukoil Ploiesti executives: general manager and member of the company’s Managing Board Andrey Bogdanov (a Russian citizen), accused of using the company’s capital in bad faith and money laundering; Russian citizens Alexey Voinstev – company deputy general manager – who is charged with complicity in bad faith use of the company’s credit, and Olga Kuzina, Petrotel- Lukoil Ploiesti deputy general manager, charged with complicity in misusing the company’s credit and complicity in money laundering; Moldovan citizen Andrei Rata, a member of the Petrotel- Lukoil Ploiesti Managing Board, charged with using in bad faith the company’s credit and money laundering; Dan Danulescu, company deputy general manager, charged with complicity in the use in bad faith of the company’s credit and complicity in money laundering; and Dorel Dutu, Petrotel- Lukoil Ploiesti chief accountant, charged with complicity in using in bad faith the company’s credit and complicity in money laundering .

According to the prosecutors, the damage caused by the defendants’ criminal activities stands at over 7.5 billion lei, the equivalent to almost 1.8 billion euros.

To recover the damage, the prosecutors issued a freeze order on 176,840,629 shares priced at 2.5 lei each and worth a total 442,101,572.5 lei; on share premiums worth 1,880,931,388 lei held by Lukoil Europe Holdings Bvatrium Netherlands – the majority shareholder in SC Petrotel- Lukoil SA Ploiesti; on the accounts held by Petrotel Lukoil Ploiesti with RBS Bank Netherlands; and on the amounts to be transferred subsequently, up to the limit of 2,007,103,675, 74 euro, in US dollar equivalent.

Precautionary measures were also instructed on the accounts held by Lukoil Europe Holdings with City Bank London, up to the amount of 2 billion euros, in US dollars equivalent.

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