Corruption and Commodities

Looking at Reuters commodities news this morning, I noted a story regarding one Kostyantin Zhevago who apparently embezzled some $133m from a bank that he was the ‘beneficial’ owner of. He is also the leading shareholder of iron pellet producer – Ferrexpo. Another story we posted here yesterday talks about how the Pemex trading arm has banned doing business temporarily with Trafigura over potential bribery issues. As the story relates, “The world’s largest independent commodity traders here are facing scrutiny globally for alleged corruption after years of investigations into bribes of public officials in several countries in Latin America. Pemex and other state oil companies have become wary of doing business with merchants, which include Trafigura and rival Vitol. Earlier this month, PMI Comercio International suspended new deals with Trafigura and its subsidiaries until further notice, according to company communication seen by Reuters. The document did not state a reason for the ban.” It also reminds us that, “Vitol, the largest commodity merchant, agreed last year to pay $164 million to U.S. and Brazilian authorities after admitting it bribed officials in Mexico, Brazil and Ecuador to obtain and retain business with state oil companies there. Ecuador’s state company Petroecuador has since… continue reading

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