Swiss commodities traders in Nigeria: Murky deals and filthy profits
In October 2012, the Nigerian authorities requested legal assistance from Switzerland in relation five Swiss commodities traders. No allegations were made against them directly, but they had important documents in their possession that could prove that their Nigerian business partners had been involved in huge fraud related to fuel imports. Nigerian authorities and NGOs discovered that from 2009 to 2011, Nigerian companies received US$6.8 million in unjustifiable state subsidies. Public Eye shed light on how Swiss traders were helping their Nigerian partners in their fraudulent activities by providing false volumes or price information. Many of the companies in question were closely linked to senior government officials.
The case shows the need for statutory due diligence requirements to be imposed on commodities traders – as they are for banks – to prevent them from dealing with politically exposed persons to the detriment of producer countries. A commodities supervisory authority such as ROHMA, proposed by Public Eye, would ensure this.
- Report: Swiss traders’ opaque deals in Nigeria (2013)
- Press release: Report: Swiss traders' opaque deals in Nigeria (04.11.2013)