Romanian Foreign Ministry officials provided on Wednesday the first details on the situation of two Romanian workers retained in Iraq, after a Bucharest-based newspaper announced the two were „arrested” three months ago as they were caught taking pictures at a US base near Baghdad.

The sources said the two were retained - not arrested - by coalition forces in October and their deeds were subject of investigation as no charges have been issued yet.

The Foreign Ministry has been informed about their situation since November 7 but complied with their request and did not make the case public.

Ministry spokeswoman Corina Vintan said workers Ilie Nelu and Adrian Gancea were employed by a firm bottling drinking water within the compounds of a US military base. They were retained while walking within the base and taking shots with a video camera - which is banned in any such base in Iraq.

“Considering that representatives of the Romanian Embassy there were allowed to meet the two, we should not expect unpleasant suprises”, Vintan said.