Romanian copper for a Chinese gangster

Mercuria Holdings Limited is a Hong Kong private company established in 2004. Mercuria is present in 50 countries around the world and has become one of the largest integrated energy and commodity trading companies in the world, developing its own warehouse and terminal base.

In 2017, Mercuria Holdings Hong Kong Ltd. was declared the winner of the international tender competition organized by Cupru Min Abrud for the sale of 80,000 tons of copper concentrate in the following two years.

Consequently, Mercuria Resources SRL was established in Romania, having as shareholders MERLION RESOURCES HOLDINGS LIMITED (99%) of Hong Kong and HU XIAOJUN (1%). Mercuria was a shareholder in Merlion until 2017.

In 2012, Merlion Resources Holdings Ltd. was registered in Hong Kong as a private joint venture with Mercuria Group.
Merlion trades a variety of metals, metal products and ores in Europe, Africa, China, Southeast Asia, Mongolia and South America.
This whole business in Romania culminated in a twisted scandal revealed by the media in 2018.

At the end of 2016, a delegation of the Mercuria Energy Trading LTD Group, which owned Merlion Resources, met with representatives of the Ministry of Economy, at the institution’s headquarters. Wang Yan was also part of the delegation as a representative of the Chinese company. Wang Yan had used to hold Romanian citizenship, which was revoked in June 2013, at the request of the Romanian Intelligence Service, for national security reasons.

So three years after Wang Yan was basically labeled as a threat for the Romanian state, there he was, at the Ministry of Economy headquarters, negotiating deals. However, according to the Ministry of Economy, no approval was requested at that time for any visit of Wang Yan to Cupru Min.

Anyway, after several contestations and resumes of the tender, Cupru Min SA declared Merlion as the winner of the tender competition and concluded a contract with Wang Yan in October 2017.

The media outlet Hotnews wrote in 2018 that Wang Yan’s name is linked to a prostitution network that exploited underage girls in 2005, being invoked also videos with Romanian police officers having sex with these girls. The Directorate for Investigating Organized Crime and Terrorism closed a separate case in 2009, without Wang Yan or the Romanian police officers being brought to justice. Wang Yan was referred to in the Directorate for Investigating Organized Crime and Terrorism transcripts as  “The senator”.

Wang Yan, “the Senator”. Source:

In 1999, Wang Yan received Romanian citizenship under the name of Alexandru Ioan. In 2012, the Romanian Intelligence Service demanded the Romanian citizenship of Alexandru Ioan, formerly Wang Yan, to be revoked because “The person is known to have connections to terrorist groups or has supported them, in any form, or has committed other acts that endanger national security”.

However, the business with the Chinese went smoothly.


Read more about the Chinese companies in: