BUCHAREST, Romania — (AP) — Romanian authorities have launched a criminal investigation into an alleged data breach by four employees of the local branch of NIS Petrol in neighboring Serbia, which is majority-owned by Russia’s Gazprom Neft.
Organized crime prosecutors said late Monday 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. Belgrade-based NIS told The Associated Press in an emailed statement on Tuesday that it “complies with the current legal requirements of the countries in which it operates.”
“The company has and will fully cooperate with all relevant agencies to clarify all aspects of the activities of the company and its employees in Romania,” NIS said.
Serbian President Aleksandr Vucic said late Monday that no Serbian citizens were involved and that “this has nothing to do with us. This is Russian ownership.”
Romanian media reports said the four were Moldovan citizens and ranked highly among the Romanian subsidiary of NIS.
Serbia sold a majority stake in its state oil monopoly NIS to Russia’s Gazprom Neft in 2008. Despite the war in Ukraine, the Balkan country has maintained close ties with Russia and has refused to join Western sanctions against Moscow.
Romania’s NIS Petrol operates the Gazprom gas station in the western part of the country and is conducting exploration for new sources of oil. Information about the geological data was sent to Belgrade and Russia before Romanian authorities were notified, Romanian prosecutors said.
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