Romania opens investigation into leaks from Russian company

BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — Romanian authorities have opened a criminal investigation against four employees of neighboring Serbia’s local branch NIS Petrol — majority-owned by Russia’s Gazprom Neft — for alleged data leaks.

Organized crime prosecutors said Monday evening that police raided the company’s offices in the capital, Bucharest, and the western city of Timisoara, as well as the homes of employees, as part of the investigation.

No other details were immediately released. The Associated Press has sent a request for comment to NIS Petrol.

Late Monday, Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic said no Serbian citizens were involved and “it has nothing to do with us, his Russian property.”

Romanian media reported that the four are citizens of Moldova and a high rank in the Romanian gasoline subsidiary NIS.

Serbia sold a majority stake in its state oil monopoly NIS to Russia’s Gazprom Neft in 2008. The Balkan nation still maintains close ties with Russia despite aggression against Ukraine and has refused to join sanctions Westerners against Moscow.

NIS Petrol in Romania operates Gazprom gas stations in the west of the country and has conducted research for new sources of oil. Romanian prosecutors said information about the geological data was sent to Belgrade and Russia before Romanian authorities were notified.