Romanian prosecutors investigate diesel theft at U.S. military base

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BUCHAREST, Nov 24 (Reuters) - Romanian prosecutors opened a criminal investigation into an organised crime group that stole roughly $2 million worth of diesel and other fuel from a U.S. military base in the eastern county of Constanta, police said in a statement on Wednesday.

Police and prosecutors from the anti organised-crime unit DIICOT searched several homes of the suspected crime group on Wednesday and brought in seven people for questioning. The thefts occurred from 2017 until 2021.

"Under the coordination of the group's leader, its members ... stole quantities of diesel fuel from the generators which serve certain areas within the American military base, with damages estimated by the injured party, the U.S. federal government, at $2 million," the statement said.

U.S. forces have used the Mihail Kogalniceanu air base on the Black Sea in eastern Romania since 1999. Romania, a NATO member since 2004, hosts NATO command centres and a U.S. ballistic missile station.

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Reporting by Luiza Ilie; Editing by Hugh Lawson

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