Romanian court rejects appeal by Lukoil general manager in fraud case

A Romanian court has rejected an appeal by the general manager and six executives of Russian oil company Lukoil who have been indicted on tax evasion and money laundering charges.

The Court of Appeal in Ploiesti dismissed the appeal made by general manager Andrey Bogdanov, a Russian citizen, and six Romanian and Russian managers at the Petrotel Lukoil refinery against their indictment, in a decision published Wednesday.

Prosecutors, who are investigating 39 companies as being vehicles for money laundering and tax evasion worth 1.77 billion euros ($1.95 billion), said Monday the managers allegedly misused the company's credit and capital.

Petrotel Lukoil press department couldn't immediately be reached for comment.

Last month, prosecutors froze Lukoil's assets and bank accounts worth about 2 billion euros ($2.22 billion).

Petrotel processes 2.4 million tons of crude per year.