28 Dec 2010 17:02

FAS uncovers collusion by SUEK, other coal cos; may launch criminal case

MOSCOW. Dec 28 (Interfax) - The Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS) says Siberian Coal Energy Company (SUEK), Russian Coal and CJSC Stroyservis may face charges of collusion on the coal market.

"The FAS has completed an investigation and uncovered a cartel on Russia's coal market," FAS chief Igor Artemyev said at a briefing on Tuesday.

The FAS made its finding following a comprehensive investigation by the police, the Interior Ministry and that ministry's department of economic security (DEB) and investigative committee.

"Article 178 of the Criminal Code provides criminal punishment for formation of a cartel for such a purpose," Artemyev said, noting that the law enforcement investigators are currently examining the possibility of launching a criminal case.

The FAS suspects Kubass Fuel Company, Kuzbassrazrezugol Coal Company (KRU) and some regional coal companies of involvement in the cartel, the agency's deputy chief, Anatoly Golomolzin, told reporters.

"The investigation [with respect to these companies] is on-going, he said.

Further investigations are being carried out with respect to SUEK and Russian Coal.

"The [suspects] include the government agencies that held the traded that resulted in violation of antimonopoly law," Golomolzin said.

He said cases with respect to these companies were opened as part of the investigation of the cartel in the coal market involving SUEK, Russian Coal and Stroyservis. These companies were recognized to be participants in the cartel on December 22.