Four Suspects Arrested in Russian Oil Contamination Case
May 7, 2019 5:41 pm
Nefteperevalka owns the section of the Druzhba pipeline where it is believed the contamination had originated on April 19
A Russian court has placed four private oil firm executives under arrest for what authorities say is their role in the tainted oil scandal that forced Moscow to shut a major pipeline to central Europe and Germany.
As of Tuesday, the main route of the Druzhba pipeline had been closed for almost two weeks damaging Russia’s image as a reliable supplier of energy. Pipeline monopoly Transneft said the oil had been contaminated deliberately.
Investigators say the suspects had illegally pumped low-quality oil near the Volga River city of Samara “to conceal thefts” sometime between March and April this year.
Svetlana Balabay, Rustam Khusnutdinov, Vladimir Zhogolev and Sergei Balandin will remain in pre-trial detention until June 29.
Balabay heads Nefteperevalka and Khusnutdinov is identified as its deputy; Zhogolev is the general director of Petroneft Aktiv and Balandin is the deputy head of Magistral.
Nefteperevalka, according to reports, owns the section of the Druzhba pipeline where it is believed the contamination had originated on April 19.
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