Romanian prosecutors started probing into a theft case where diesel worth $2 million was stolen from a US military base in southeast Romania, Reuters reported.
Diesel Worth $2 million Stolen
According to the Romanian anti-theft prosecutors DIICOT, an organized criminal gang was involved in stealing liquid fuel specifically diesel oil. The criminal group had started this activity in 2017 and after investigations, seven suspects have been taken into interrogation. The theft activity was not only limited to military base in Mihail Kogalniceanu but other areas in the Constanta region.
“Several people set up a criminal group in 2017 with the aim of stealing liquid fuel belonging to the American government,” stated DIICOT, the anti-mafia Romanian prosecutors.
The suspects reportedly carried out their criminal activities through generators on the army base where heavy US army is stationed. However the official statement did not disclose the criminals’ identity. The thefts continued 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,” according to the statement.
Mihail Kogalniceanu Rear Base During Iraq Invasion
During the US invasion in Iraq back in 2003, Mihail Kogalniceanu became the rear base. In 2014, it served as the transit hub for US soldiers traveling and out of Afghanistan. US army used the Mihail Kogalniceanu airbase as a centre for trading equipment and war troops into Iraq during the initial invasion in 2003. They kept almost 3,500 American troops there.
According to a report by Sunday Herald back in 2003, “The US has now been given carte blanche ‘for the utilisation of Romanian air space, as well as all the necessary military and technical infrastructure, if military action against Iraq becomes unavoidable’.
Romania became a part of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) on 29 March 2004.