Eni's Italian refineries at risk of shutdown after tax evasion probe

The logo of Italian energy company Eni is seen at an Agip gas station in Lugano, Switzerland June 3, 2016. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann/File Photo

MILAN (Reuters) - Italy’s Eni said on Wednesday its refineries in Italy were at risk of shutdown after Italian tax police seized assets as part of a probe into alleged tax evasion.

The state-controlled oil major said in a statement a judge had ordered the seizure of devices used to measure oil products at its refineries and storage facilities across the country.

Eni denied any wrongdoing.

“Considering the consequences that might derive... from a total stop of the refining and fuel supply activities, Eni will request the possibility to continue using the measurement devices,” it said. In a separate statement the tax police said the devices in question had been manipulated in such a way that Eni marketed more refining products than were actually recorded, in a scheme involving tax evasion of about 10 million euros (£8.87 million).

It said a total of 18 people were being probed on suspicion of violating tax laws.

With five wholly owned refineries, Eni is Italy’s biggest refiner. It also has a series of depots across the country to transport and store oil products onshore.

Reporting by Stephen Jewkes; Editing by Crispian Balmer