"OMV Petrom has caused a prejudice of 7 billion dollars to the Romanian state"

10 nov. 2017 English Section
ANCUŢA STANCIU (translated by Cosmin Ghidoveanu)
"OMV Petrom has caused a prejudice of 7 billion dollars to the Romanian state"

The executives of OMV Petrom, summoned to appear in the Parliament for the third time 

Sevil Shhaideh and Radu-Spiridon Cojocaru, the representatives of the state on the Supervisory Board of OMV Petrom, also called in for hearings

Costin: "We have notified the Audit Body of the Prime-Minister"

The management of OMV Petrom, namely Mrs. Mariana Gheorghe, as well as the representatives of the Romanian state on the Supervisory Board of OMV Petrom, Sevil Shhaideh and Radu-Spiridon Cojocaru will be invited to appear in the hearings on the Investigation Commission for the activity of the ANRE, the members of the Commission decided on Thursday.

This is the third invitation sent by the Chamber of Deputies to Mrs. Mariana Gheorghe, who refused to show up twice for the hearings, and announced she would send in all the answers to the Comission in writing.

Dumitru Costin, the president of the National Union Block (BNS- Blocul Naţional Sindical), yesterday said, in the Parliamentary commission concerning the activity of the ANRE, that OMV Petrom has caused the Romanian state a loss of 7 billion lei, according to some audits made by the Court of Auditors, and the money has yet to be recouped, even though the loss was uncovered in 2015.

Iulian Iancu, the president of the Commission, said: "Colleagues have requested extending the invitations again to the management of OMV Petrom. Personally, I don't have much hope. In fact, I had given up making any further invitations. But following the statements of Mr. Costin, I will resume the invitations addressed to Mrs. Mariana Gheorghe and to the members on the Supervisory Board of OMV Petrom, who are the representatives of the Romanian state".

Iulian Iancu also said: "Dumitru Costin, the head of the National Union Block (BNS), has presented to the Commission for the Investigation of the activity of the ANRE a document which has also been submitted with the Romanian government, specifically to the General Secretariat of the Government, to the attention of the prime-minister, in which Costin says that, he has received from the Romanian authorities documents concerning OMV, which describe investigations at various stages concerning tax evasion when it comes to salaries, VAT, the modification of the formula and the incorrect payment of royalties by OMV, which, according to the presented data, resulted in a loss of over 1 billion Euros, data backed by the report of the Court of Auditors. That document states that the case has reached the court.

Also discussed are price hikes in the estimates for the soil decontamination of the oil wells areas, as well as the failure to record the assets, plots of land, buildings in accounting and thus the causing of a loss to the Romanian state. According to the presented data, the total prejudice caused has reached 7 billion lei. The amounts are mind-numbing. The Investigation Commission will ask for all these documents from the institutions which investigated these Petrom behaviors, will debate them and implicitly, we will send them for analysis and request an answer from all the institutions which are directly tasked with the resolution of this type of behavior. The members of the investigative commission of the activity of the ANRE have requested yesterday, the presence before the Commission of former president of the Court of Accounts, Mr. Nicolae Văcăroiu, as well as the current president Mihai Busuioc. Let's hope that following the analysis performed together with them and of the conclusions found in the report of the Court of Auditors, we will understand what those offenses have been".

The current president of the Court of Auditors, Mihai Busuioc, who is considered close to Liviu Dragnea, was appointed secretary general of the Government in January, by then prime-minister Sorin Grindeanu, and was a member on the Supervisory Board of OMV Petrom between April 28, 2017 and until October 17, 2017.

Dumitru Costin yesterday said that he was dealing with irregularities found by the Court of Auditors, that he has notified the Audit Body of the Prime-minister on the matter and that he has presented to the Investigation Commission a document in that regard: "I would prefer not to go deeper on this issue. I was heard by the Commission and I have presented that document. I have the ability to produce other documents which I can present to the Commission, but first of all this is a matter which needs to be handled by this investigative commission. For that reason, I have insisted in having other very respectable people be present, who can supplement, with documents, information and numbers the things I have said right now. Furthermore, I can inform you that I have received a written confirmation from the head of the Audit Body of the prime-minister. Before reaching a commission, I notified the prime-minister and the head of the Audit Body of the prime-minister and I have requested an investigation to clarify this case. We are talking about a huge amount. The issue at stake is a number of investigations conducted by the Court of Auditors targeting the economic activity of a company which also has the Romanian state as a shareholder, investigation which has identified numbers that are irregular based on the evaluations".

He added that according to his information, between 2015 and until the present day, those amounts, which should have gone to the state budget as revenues, were not recouped.

Next week in the hearings, will be called the representatives of the state in the supervisory board of OMV Petrom, the former president of the Court of Auditors, Nicolae Văcăroiu, and its current president, Mihai Busuioc, as well as two former Energy ministers - Răzvan Nicolescu and Victor Grigorescu.

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