European commission raids offices in fuel price-fixing scandal]
The commission’s move follows a similar effort last month by a French justice department agency to prosecute a trader for rigging gas prices.
Two traders at Paris Gas, the French gas-supply company, pleaded not guilty Wednesday to charges of misusing public funds for their own private gain and were granted suspen더킹카지노ded prison sentences. One, Philippe Sautin, a 34-year-old son of a retired French army officer, admitted selling more than 2 million gallons of gasoline during peak gas prices in December 2012 at a rate of almost a million pounds (about $30,000) per gallon.
The energy commissioner’s investigation is likely to prompt calls in Germany for the EU to take action against energy companies in a bid to curb financial risk associated with energy markets. The move could push Germany to impose fines on gas company subsidiaries that commit similar crimes.
[How much of Europe’s gas supply is going to gas-guzzling states?]
“Energy sector-wide crimes are becoming more common,” said Jean-Marc Rizzo, director of the Institute of Economic바카라 Cooperation and Development in Paris. “But we are trying to fight them in the legal arena.”
The commission has long been accused of dragging its feet in investigating market manipulation by gas companies.
In 2012, it received 1,622 complaints over illegal price rigging in the gasoline market. Of those, 616 were against a single company. Of those, 1,853 were related to price-fixing, and 623 involved fraud or mismanagement, according to the commission.
The cases included gas compa더킹카지노nies buying up wholesale natural gas supplies to boost their gas prices, and then selling their domestic supplies to customers in Europe at a significantly inflated price, which is why the commission is investigating gas-market pricing.
And the commission said it has only received 2.5 million euros (about $3.1 million) for all those investigations, including the two cases the investigation into the gas market rigging cases.
[The EU’s scandal-plagued fuel scandal is spreading fast across Europe]
This month, Germany’s Federal Administrative Court ordered the commission to drop an investigation into the Paris Gas traders in which two of them pleaded not guilty to charges of financial misconduct. In April, the commission also cleared its case against seven companies accused of price-fixing in a case that was still pending before a lower court.
“It’s clear that there is a massive problem of pric