LONDON Serbian police
have arrested more than a dozen individuals for allegedly
falsifying documents related to the processing of slag from the
now-idled Zelezara Smederevo (ZS) steel works, costing the
steelmaker as much as 5.7 million ($7.4 million).
The slag was processed under a
contract held by Harsco Metals Smederevo d.o.o., a subsidiary
of Camp Hill, Pa.-based Harsco Corp. Workers were tasked with
extracting iron ore from slag produced at the site for reuse in
However, the individuals sold
the high-quality iron ore to third parties rather than
reselling it to ZS as required, Serbian authorities said. This
left only low-quality material for ZS, which spent 2
million ($2.6 million) on repurchases, sources said.
Seven or eight of the 14
individuals arrested are former or current employees of Harsco,
while the others were with private companies that had contracts
to buy low-quality iron from Harsco for 60 ($78) per
tonne, an official from the Smederevo police told AMM
sister publication Steel First.
Harsco "released" all but two of
the accused employees when the plant suspended operations in
mid-2012, a company spokesman said. The remaining two employees
were suspended March 4.
Harsco is cooperating with the
police and other authorities and will continue to do so, the
ZS remains on track to restart
operations in April, a plant executive said. Management said in
early March that the company was planning to restart the
furnace next month (
amm.com, March 5).
A version of this article
was first published by AMM sister publication Steel