Richest Romanian businessman under criminal investigation for undermining the national economy

Newsroom 26/06/2014 | 13:03

Ioan Niculae, richest Romanian businessman, was called in for questioning on Thursday to DIICOT headquarters for his involvement in the Romgaz File.  Acocrding to the prosecutors, Ioan Niculae could be charged with removal from sequester, instigation of abuse of service and money laundering, writes economica.net.

Prosecutors started investigating Ioan Niculae in 2012 and seized several of his possessions, after the business men was indicted, along with 40 other individuals. One of the suspects is the former minister of Economy, Adrian Videanu.

According to the case built against them, the individuals under investigation allowed for considerable amounts of natural gas to be delivered by Romgaz to InterAgro, owned by Ioan Niculae, at rates far lower than the ones officially practiced by the gas company.

As a result, their criminal activities made it impossible for Romgaz to amass the necessary reserves to comply with the national storage program and the energy industry was forced to raise imports to maintain the security of the National Energy System, thereby threatening the national economy.

DIICOT said the operations took place between 2006 and 2010, causing a loss of USD 130 million to the state.

The InterAgro group comprises fertilizer plants, hotels, vegetable oil processing plants, meat and bakery factories. It reported profits of EUR 36 million and a turnover of EUR 1 billion in 2011.

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