Trafigura investigated for alleged corruption, market manipulation
02 Jun 2020

Global commodities trader Trafigura is under investigation by US authorities for alleged corruption and market manipulation relating to oil trading, the Guardian has learned.

The Commodities and Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) is leading a far-reaching probe into the activities of the oil and metals trading house, including its operations in South America.

The Washington-based financial markets regulator has issued subpoenas to a large pool of people, ordering them to hand over all information they hold relating to the company’s activities.

The subpoenas demand information going back at least four years relating to “manipulation and corruption involving oil products and trading”.

Recipients of the subpoena have been set a strict deadline to hand over documents and data to the CFTC, the Guardian understands.

The investigation is understood to relate to Trafigura’s oil trading division, which is based in Singapore but also has offices in London and Geneva.

The unit’s traders negotiate with other companies and state-backed entities to buy and sell large quantities of oil and petroleum products in resource-rich regions such as South America and Africa.

The US probe comes nearly 18 months after the Guardian revealed that Trafigura had been named in Brazil’s vast “Car Wash” corruption probe, alongside rival commodities traders Glencore and Vitol. It is unclear whether the CFTC’s investigation is related.

The papers alleged links between Trafigura and Brasil Trade member Jorge Luz, who became known as the Deacon of Bribes in Brazil and was sentenced in October 2017 to 13 years and eight months for his part in orchestrating bribes worth $20m (£15.8m).

By Rob Davies, The Guardian, 31 May 2020

Read more at The Guardian

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