Singapore-based commodity trading company Trafigura said it will disclose a $127 million provision related to the resolution of a Department of Justice (DOJ) investigation into alleged improper payments made in Brazil by former employees.
Trafigura published a statement Wednesday acknowledging the reserve, which it said it would disclose in its upcoming 2023 annual report. The company has been under investigation by regulatory authorities in the United States, Brazil, and Switzerland related to potential bribes paid via third parties it said occurred approximately 10 or more years ago.
The company said it remains involved in an ongoing civil case in Brazil, where allegations against it first surfaced as part of a plea agreement by a convicted former employee.
The statement came the same day the Swiss Office of the Attorney General announced an indictment against parent company Trafigura Beheer B.V. (TBBV) and three individuals regarding bribes paid to a former Angolan public official affiliated with state-owned energy company Sonangol. Former Trafigura Chief Operating Officer Mike Wainwright was accused of helping facilitate payments of more than 4.3 million euros (U.S. $4.6 million) through a bank account in Geneva and $604,000 in Angola between 2009 and 2011.
TBBV was charged with failing to take reasonable and necessary measures to prevent the payment of the alleged bribes, which the Swiss Office of the Attorney General estimated helped the company earn nearly $144 million.
“TBBV will defend itself at court, including in view of the compliance and anti-bribery and corruption controls in place at the relevant time,” Trafigura said. The company also said Wainwright would defend himself in court.
Trafigura Chief Executive Jeremy Weir said in the statement the company’s historical incidents “in no way represent the company we are today.”
“We have made extensive efforts over many years to instill a culture of responsible conduct at Trafigura,” Weir said. “Since the period in question, we have significantly enhanced our compliance program and controls. This includes mandatory training for all staff, ongoing investment in a global compliance team, and our decision in 2019 to prohibit the use of third parties for business origination.”