$2m fuel theft from US base explained with ‘Romanian culture’ — Analysis
A thieving scheme that resulted in $2 million in fuel stolen from a US base in Romania might have been facilitated by the “negligence” of the Americans unaware of “local culture,” the country’s defense minister has suggested.
The fuel theft scandal centered around the Mihail Kogălniceanu air base, which serves as the main hub for US troops in Romania, got an unexpected twist when the country’s Defense Minister Vasile Dincu bizarrely blamed it on the Americans themselves.
Although the theft is believed to have been committed by locals, the possibility exists that it was assisted by some other people. “negligence”Knowledge and ignorance about the local area “culture”The minister spoke out on behalf of the Americans to local media, saying that the US should have guarded the fuel supply better in order to stop the siphoning.
The supply point was located outside of the US military base. Because our culture wasn’t so well-known, it was negligent to mention.
The country’s own military is keeping all its facilities – including disused ones – well-guarded to prevent them from getting ransacked by locals, the minister added.
Late November saw the first major news about the scandal surrounding fuel theft. The scheme was discovered by Romanian police, who claimed that it had discovered it at the base. It was believed to have been in place since 2017. The police have detained seven suspects for questioning.
“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,”The police made a statement at that time.
Local media reported that the suspects were all locals working at the base as generator managers. The diesel levels of the generators were consistently lower than they expected. This led to suspicion from the US military over the years.
Officials from the United States acknowledged the airbase affair and said that they are working closely with Romanians in order to determine all circumstances surrounding the scheme.
“We are in full support and in full cooperation with our Romanian partners and officials during this investigation, and we appreciate their efforts,”Vonnie Wright was a spokesperson for the 21st Theater Sustainment Command.