Wang Yan, a Chinese businessman who had his Romanian citizenship withdrawn for national security reasons several years ago, managed to reach the headquarters of Romanian copper company Cupru Min, a strategic state-owned company, in November 2016, according to information obtained by HotNews.ro. A year later, he obtained Cupru Min's whole production for a Hong Kong-based company, as journalists at Tolo.ro revealed earlier this week.
"We found ourselves with them knocking on our door", says Nicolae Turdean, former general manager of Cupru Min, speaking of the first Chinese delegation, which included Wang Yan, visiting the company in 2016. Since then, Wang Yan paid several visits to the company, representing at least three foreign companies, either with or without approval from the security department of the Romanian Economy Ministry.
A year later, in october 2017, he managed to signed with Cupru Min a contract to buy the whole production of copper concentrate in the benefit of Hong Kong-based company Merlion Resources.
- Earlier this week, Tolo.ro reported that Wang Yan, who had his Romanian citizenship withdrawn at the request of the Romanian Intelligence Service (SRI) for reasons related to "national security threats", obtained the Cupru Min production late last year. Cupru Min, a state owned company, produces most of the Romanian copper production.
- A day later, Tolo.ro reported that the Chinese Embassy to Bucharest supported Merlion Resources in the acquisition. Wang Yan represented the HK-based company.
According to information obtained by HotNews.ro, it all began in November 2016, when Wang Yan and a delegation of the Mercuria Energy Trading Ltd., which owns Merlion Resources, met Economy Ministry representatives in Bucharest. They met representatives of the foreign investments department to discuss "the possibility of a Romanian-Chinese partnership in the sustainable development of industrial areas", according to a document obtained by HotNews.ro.
Contacts intensified once an announcement that the copper production was on sale was published. According to data obtained by HotNews.ro and former company officials, the Chinese visited the Cupru Min without prior approval at least once. Wang Yan himself received approval to visit Cupru Min twice, but as a representative for two different companies, not Merlion or Mercuria, but one from Canada and one from Australia. Both approvals were obtained in September 2017.