SARAJEVO, July 14 (RIA Novosti) – The Russian financial director of Montenegro’s biggest aluminum plant detained on Wednesday on suspicion of large-scale electricity theft may face from two to ten years in prison, the local newspaper Vijesti reported on Sunday.
Russian national Dmitry Potrubach, 44, was detained Wednesday evening while attempting to cross the border with Serbia. He has been accused of stealing electricity worth 9.64 million euros from the European power system.
“If 44-year-old Potrubach is proved guilty of electricity theft, then in compliance with the Montenegrin Criminal Code he faces a prison term of two to ten years and the enterprise a fine of 193-482 million euros,” the paper said.
Potrubach, who is linked to Russian billionaire Oleg Deripaska, has denied the accusation he authorized the theft of electricity from the European power system.
A court in the Montenegrin city of Podgorica on Saturday authorized Potrubach's arrest, local media said.
The Russian Foreign Ministry earlier expressed hope that the Montenegrin authorities would not keep him in custody during the investigation, considering his poor health.
Deripaska's En+ group holds a 29.3 percent stake in the plant, while the Montenegrin government holds another 29.3 percent. The plant, which produces 120,000 tons of aluminum a year and employs 1,200 people, is bankrupt according to local media.
En+ said in a Thursday statement the company regarded Potrubach's detention as an attempt to put pressure on the plant’s legitimate shareholders and investors.