Saturday, October 31, 2020

Commodities giant Gunvor fined $95 million over bribery activities in Africa

-

Swiss authorities have ordered commodities trading giant Gunvor to pay nearly 94 million Swiss francs ($94.8 million dollars) in compensation and fines for failing to stop its representatives from bribing public officials to gain access to oil markets in Congo and Ivory Coast.

The Swiss attorney-general’s office says it found “serious deficiencies” in the firm’s internal organization that led to its inability to block the bribery and corruption between 2008 and 2011, which led to a federal criminal court ruling in the case in August last year.

The office said Thursday it ordered Gunvor to pay compensation of nearly 90 million Swiss francs, “which corresponds to the total profit that Gunvor made from the business in question,” and 4 million francs in fines.

An official probe by Swiss authorities turned up no code of conduct, no compliance program, no internal audit program or that any staff member was in place to lead any work to reduce the risk of corruption at the time.

- Advertisement -

“The investigation revealed that during the period under scrutiny, Gunvor had taken no organisational measures to prevent corruption in its business activities,” the attorney-general’s office said in a statement.

Swiss authorities turned up tens of millions of dollars in commissions paid between 2009 and 2012 when the company used “agents” to obtain petroleum shipments.

The attorney-general’s office said it didn’t impose the maximum 5-million franc fine in such cases under Swiss law, saying that decision “takes account in particular of efforts it (the company) has made since 2012” to improve its organization and efforts to prevent corruption.

The company acknowledged wrongdoing and said it has cleaned up its act.

- Advertisement -

“Gunvor Group … has admitted guilt with respect to having had organizational shortcomings during the years 2008-11 that did not prevent an ex-employee from undertaking corruptive activities in Congo-Brazzaville and Ivory Coast,” it said in a statement.

CEO Torbjorn Tornqvist said Gunvor had been growing “very fast” at the time.

“We did not have the right procedures in place,” he said. “Today, we have a top-tier compliance program, and we continue to improve our program as the risks and markets continue to change.”

Gunvor, which was co-founded by Tornqvist in 2000, has about 1,500 employees worldwide who help source crude oil and refined oil products traded in more than 100 countries. Its main trading office is in Geneva, but its headquarters are in Nicosia, Cyprus.

Last year, Gunvor had revenue of $87 billion.

MUST READ

Actress Lori Loughlin begins 2-month prison sentence for role in college admissions scam

Actress Lori Loughlin reported to a federal prison in Northern California on Friday to start a two-month sentence for her role in a massive...

FirstEnergy fires CEO, other executives over Ohio bribery scandal

FirstEnergy Corp. has fired its CEO amid multiple federal investigations related to an Ohio nuclear bailout law passed year. The Akron-based utility company announced in a...

Ukraine’s court strips critical power from anti-corruption agency

Ukraine's Constitutional Court has stripped the country’s anti-corruption agency of some of its critical powers. The high court’s ruling published on October 28 declared it...

Former South Korean President Lee Myung-bak sent back to prison for 17 years in corruption case

Former South Korean president Lee Myung-bak was ordered back to prison on Thursday (Oct 29) as the country's Supreme Court upheld a 17-year jail...

Nigerian court declines to issue international arrest warrant for fugitive ex-Petroleum Minister in corruption case

The Abuja Division of the Federal High Court, on Wednesday, refused an application by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, for an arrest...

Subscribe For More

Get our daily notification on the latest financial crimes news around the World

Advertisement
Advertisement

Latest News

This Week

Actress Lori Loughlin begins 2-month prison sentence for role in college admissions scam

Actress Lori Loughlin reported to a federal prison in Northern California on Friday to start a two-month sentence for her role in a massive...

Mid-Small financial institutions to benefit from Oracle’s Anti-money laundering protection

Oracle today announced new cloud services to help mid-sized banks combat money laundering and outsmart financial crime. Oracle Financial Crime and Compliance Management Cloud Service brings...

Malta’s regulator fines Lombard Bank $397,000 over money laundering breaches

Lombard Bank has been fined €340,058 for breaching anti-money laundering obligations by the Financial Intelligence Analysis Unit. The breaches were identified by the FIAU in...

Beam Suntory Inc. fined $19.6 million in foreign bribery case

Beam Suntory Inc. (Beam), a Chicago-based company that produces and sells distilled beverages, has agreed to pay a criminal monetary penalty of $19,572,885 to...
Advertisement

Adblock Detected!

Our website is made possible by displaying online advertisements to our visitors. Please consider supporting us by whitelisting our website.

Enable Notifications    Ok No thanks