Romanian copper company Cupru Min, owner of 60% of the country's copper reserves, sold all its production to Hong Kong-based company Merlion Resources, which is represented by Wang Yan, a controversial businessman whose Romanian citizenship has been withdrawn several years ago, reports. The citizenship withdrawal had been requested by the Romanian Intelligence Service over ”threats to national security”.

Wang Yan i Emil Boc, la inaugurarea China TownFoto:

Wang Yan's name appears in an investigation by Romanian journalist Catalin Tolontan ( and his team regarding a prostitution network involving underaged girls, which was operational in Romania in 2005. In 2009, the prosecutor's office fighting organised crime, DIICOT, closed a related case without sending Wang Yan or Romanian officers involved in the ring to court.

In transcripts of dialogues recored by DIICOT in the case, Wang Yan was named ”The Senator”. He had received Romanian citizenship in 1999, under the name Alexandru Ioan.

In 2011, the Chinese Ambassador to Bucharest, the then prime minister of Romania and Wang Yang inaugurated a major Chinese retail centre near Bucharest.

In 2012, the Romanian Intelligence Service requested that Wang's citizenship be withdrawn, tapping on legislation that calls for such measures in case of people who act as threats to national security. The citizenship was withdrawn a year later.

But in 2017 Wang returned to Bucharest as a Chinese citizen, currently living in Bucharest. He won the tender organised by Cupru Min through Merlion Resources, a Hong Kong trading company he represents.

According to, Wang's signature on the deal means all Cupru Min production is transported to China as Romania no longer has a non-ferrous metallurgical industry.

The whole investigation (in Romanian) - on