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Trafigura Agrees To $127 Million Settlement In US Bribery Case

Trafigura Commodity company

Trafigura has settled the US bribery charges connected with securing contracts from Brazil's national oil company. 

The Swiss commodity trading firm made a plea deal in a Miami federal court.

Trafigura pleaded guilty to a single conspiracy charge under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, with the settlement amounting to approximately $127 million. 

Notably, the agreement does not mandate the appointment of an external compliance monitor.

From 2003 to 2014, Trafigura and its associates engaged in illicit payments to Petróleo Brasileiro (Petrobras) officials to gain and maintain business opportunities.

According to the Justice Department, Trafigura's profitability soared $61 million due to the bribery schemes.

The Justice Department said Trafigura cooperated with their investigation, but the company did not adequately preserve or promptly submit the required documents and evidence. 

Subsequently, Trafigura facilitated access to interviews with both local and international employees and agents.

The department said Trafigura had implemented several remedial measures after the probe. 

These include improving its compliance monitoring and control testing process, adopting new policies to combat corruption, managing intermediaries and consultants, and regulating third-party transactions.

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CEO Jeremy Weir said the company was “pleased the DOJ recognized the steps we have taken to invest in our compliance function.” 

This settlement is part of a broader US crackdown on corruption in commodity trading.

It targets companies that have used bribes to secure contracts with state-controlled entities in Latin America and Africa. 

This has led to significant corporate settlements and penalties exceeding $1.7 billion.

Freepoint Commodities and a unit of Gunvor Group recently settled for over $98 million and $661 million, respectively, for similar bribery and corruption charges in securing oil contracts.

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