Trafigura Fined For Toxic Dump In Africa
July 29, 2010 Leave a comment
A Dutch court has fined the multinational oil trading company Trafigura of one million euros for illegally dumping highly toxic wastes in Ivory Coast in West Africa.
The Swiss-based oil company was fined on Friday by an Amsterdam court for exporting hazardous waste, which the UN says has killed at least 15 people and hospitalized thousands, BBC reported.
In 2006, 500 tons of caustic soda and petroleum residues on board the Probo Koala ship were originally meant to be off-loaded in Amsterdam, but a disagreement about price led to the waste being redirected to Ivory Coast. There, it was dumped on several open rubbish tips in Abidjan.
Amnesty International has also criticized Dutch authorities for their failure in preventing the tragedy.
“The verdict also appears to raise serious questions about the failures of the Dutch authorities, who could have prevented the tragedy by stopping the waste from leaving Dutch borders,” Deutsche Welle quoted the statement released by human rights organization on its website.
Trafigura denied any wrongdoing. It expressed disappointment in the ruling and is considering an appeal.
This is the first time Trafigura has faced criminal charges since the toxic waste scandal unfolded in Ivory Coast’s commercial capital, Abidjan, in 2006.