SHARE
Lukoil's Ploiesti refinery. Image courtesy of Lukoil.

Romanian police and tax officials searched Lukoil’s Ploiseti refinery Thursday and seized about $295 million of inventory in connection with an alleged $290 million tax evasion and money laundering scheme.

The Ploiesti prosecutor’s office said five companies controlled by Russia’s Lukoil were searched on October 2 including Lukoil Energy & Gas Romania SRL, Lukoil Lubricants East Europe, Agentia Lukom-A-Romania and TP Log Services SRL.

Prosecutors, police and tax officials are investigating $140 million in losses allegedly stemming from tax evasion and about $148 million in losses allegedly connected to money laundering, Reuters said.

Further details about the probe have not been disclosed.

A Lukoil spokesman confirmed Romanian government officials visited the office and took financial documents and other requested information provided by the company.

Officials also reportedly seized $295 million worth of oil and fuel inventories belonging to Lukoil’s Romanian subsidiary Petrotel Lukoil, Romania Insider said.

No charges have been brought against Lukoil or any of its employees.

Lukoil said the company has always paid its taxes “without fail” and said there has “been no issues” in the past between the company and Romanian officials.

“We are sure that the Romanian law-enforcement agencies will sort everything out and a fair decision will be taken,” first vice-president of Lukoil Vladimir Nekrasov said.

The Ploiseti refinery has a capacity of 2.4 million tons per year and is located in Ploiesti, Romania, about 34 miles outside of Bucharest.

Lukoil said the raid did not impact production at the refinery and the plant continues to operate normally.