Romanian suspects who ‘stole 2 million dollars of diesel’ from U.S. Army at Black Sea air base supplied fuel to base  

Ceremonia de certificare a detaşamentului Forţelor Aeriene Regale ale Marii Britanii care va executa misiuni de poliţie aeriană întărită în flancul estic al NATO, la baza aeriană Mihai Kogalniceanu, vineri, 27 aprilie 2018. Inquam Photos / George Calin

Romanians who are suspected of stealing 2 million dollars worth of diesel from the U.S. Army at the Mihail Kogalniceanu Black Sea Air Base worked for a company that supplied fuel to generators on the base.


Their proximity to operations on the base made it easier for them to not be caught for four years, judicial sources told daily Adevarul on Monday.

The unnamed company from the Black Sea port of Constanta was in charge of managing the generators at the military base, one of the most secure in Romania and Eastern Europe.

Workers did not supply them with the amount of fuel written in the contract, but  withheld a significant amount.


There was no way of checking whether there was any fuel in the tank when they left the base.

At one point, the generators were running low in fuel and U.S. authorities grew suspicious and notified the anti-crime agency DIICOT in April.

An investigation lasted several months. Law enforcement officials collected documents and monitored the situation and  intercepted.

„The Department of Defense has no comment on the Romanian investigation you are referring to. Local authorities in Romania have the competence related to this case „, representatives of the Pentagon Press Office told Adevărul.

Siphoned off

Last month, Romanian prosecutors  said they’d carried out six raids to disband a criminal gang that siphoned off the fuel over a four-year period.

They said the group had been active since 2017. The theft cost the U.S. government 2 million dollars.

The statement said the group stole mainly diesel from the base from 2017 to 2021 and other places in Constanta county used by U.S. troops.

NATO air base

Romania, the U.S. and its allies use the large NATO air base to defend the eastern frontier of the Western military alliance. The U.S. Army has had a presence there since 1999.

Following Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014, the Black Sea has become a strategic priority for the U.S. and NATO, as the Kremlin has  increased its activity and presence near the alliance’s southeastern flank.

Romania, Ukraine say more troops needed on the Black Sea



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