August 3, 2015 / 4:20 PM / 4 years ago

UPDATE 1-Romania indicts Lukoil's Petrotel refinery for money-laundering

* Prosecutors allege money-laundering

* Lukoil has denied charges, will fight asset seizure

* No trial date set yet (Adds details, background)

BUCHAREST, Aug 3 (Reuters) - Romanian prosecutors said on Monday they have indicted Russia’s Petrotel Lukoil refinery in Romania, its Russian director-general and three other officials for money-laundering in a 2 billion euro ($2.19 billion) criminal probe.

Prosecutors have already seized Lukoil assets worth 2 billion euros as part of their investigation into suspected money-laundering at the refinery, in the southern Romanian city of Ploiesti.

Russia’s second-largest oil producer, Lukoil has denied the accusations and said it would appeal against the asset seizure. It also called last month for the European Commission to help it fight the charges. When contacted by Reuters about the indictments, a spokesman declined to give any new comment.

No one was available for comment at the refinery on Monday.

Prosecutors from the Ploiesti court of appeals indicted the director-general of the refinery, as well as two deputy managers and also a Netherlands-registered holding company, according to a statement issued on Monday evening.

No trial date has been set as of now. Prosecutors said the Romanian secret service, known as SRI, assisted them in their investigation.

“Throughout 2011-2014, the indicted ... have used the company’s assets in bad faith and the credit it enjoys, for a purpose contrary to its interests, to favour other companies in which they had a direct or indirect interest to strike crude oil purchasing contracts,” the statement said.

The officials were indicted for “sealing supply deals for finished goods in disadvantageous price terms which produced losses as delivery prices were set below production costs.”

In October of last year police and customs inspectors raided the offices of Lukoil near Ploiesti in an investigation into alleged tax evasion and money laundering concerning an estimated 230 million euros at the time. ($1 = 0.9126 euros) (Reporting by Radu Marinas; additional reporting by Olesya Astakhova; editing by Matthias Williams and William Hardy)

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