HARGEISA – At the outset, acknowledge these following short remarks that reveal the past reputation of the Trafigura Group Pte Ltd. The current government of Somaliland has welcomed any foreign investor no matter who itis or who it was. As the head of Berbera Oil Terminal mentioned, the newcompany’s facilities that theyplacedisanopportunity to serve clients within the country andincorporate oil logistics across the East Africa.
The government officials then mentioned the enthusiastic attitude that the new company has nonetheless they did not allude to any disapproval of this new company.
When Kulmiye turned out to be the leading party, corruption and manipulation has been disseminated. Somaliland’s people have witnessed a massive deceit in every public sector, ministers has looted millions of dollars, conflict of interest in the public sector has been overwhelming and the people of Somaliland barely receives services. The capital of the nation does not have enough water, the streets are very narrow, and vehicles are over numbered. The parliament and other legislative bodies are overdue, the constitution of the land is deserted, and democracy is in the dead edge end.
Certainly, one of the intermediaries, fixers or perverted persons brought Trafigura to Somaliland. This distorted firm is well-know in the world. I do not know who brought it to Somaliland, but the chances that one of the Kulimye party members guided this company to Somaliland is very high. Let me shed a minuscule light of the actual colors of the Trafigura firm.
The Public Eye accused the Trafigura firm and its associates of dumping low-quality fuels with high levels of sulphur and other toxic ingredients in African countries. Even though the Trafigura firm dismissed that allegation and insisted the fuel quality standards were a matter for the national government, the real question is does Somaliland have a national quality standard? In order for Trafigura to meet that national quality specifications? Public Eye accused Trafigura of selling Western African countries a diesel that are sometimes hundreds of times higher than European sulphur levels.
It is very important that Somaliland at least has the instruments or technology to test the level of sulphur, in order to meet quality specification of the diesel, and at the same time to meet the standard that is indicated by the African Refiners Association or the European or international standard level.As we known,polluting fuels would never sell in America, Europe and most developed nations. According to the UN Environment program, the high-sulphur diesels are major contributors to respiratory diseases such as bronchitis and asthma in west Africa, which they receive rom companies like Trafigura.
To meet the required quality specifications as reliably and efficiently as possible, the fuel purchase country must have to set a national regulatory authority. In 2016, five western African countries blocked the import of diesel that holds sulphur levels higher than the European limit. In addition, the African Refiners Association had indicated that Trafigura firm ought to follow the recommendations of the Public Eye’s report.
In 2006, Trafigura donated a huge amount of money to Jamaica’s government rules party (people’s national party), the amount of money paid was $31 million America dollars. According to senator Knight in JamaicaTrafigura company has got its oil license from Jamaica’s government at that time.
The Netherland laws prohibits its companies to donate any foreign governments, and finally the case of Trafigura affairs go all the way to London-based Privy Council. The court hearing that’sdated-on March 1, 2021.
In 2006, Trafigura was suspected to have embroiled in the injury of thousands of people in the Ivory Coast. Even though Trafigura disavowed any misconduct, the Trafigura was charged around $1.2 million America dollars. Not only that, but one of the Trafigura employee’s that involved in the ship’s operation, was charged around $29,500 America dollars. The captain of the ship also was sentenced to a 5-year suspended detention term. On top of that, Trafigura paid $160 million American dollars to the government of the Ivory Coast without disclosing responsibility.
In 2017, the United States of America authority issued an investigation into the corruption and market manipulation relating to the oil trade. According to the Guardian newspaper, the Washington-based financial markets regulator has issued subpoenas to a large pool of people ordering them to hand over all information they hold relating to the company’s activities.
The authority had requested full information for the last four years that the Trafigura company has manipulated and any corruption they may have been involved in with the oil products and trade. As the paper states, there were inks between the Trafiguracompany and Brazil’s trade member Jorge Luz, who becamewell-known as the Deacon of Bribes in Brazil and was sentenced to 13 years and eight months for his part in coordinating bribes that were worth $20 million American dollars. According to official papers, Luz talks about a proposal from Trafigura with the state oil company Petrobras, under which the trading corporation would contribute Petrobras money in swap for discounted oil.
Swiss as well as Brazil investigators have executed search warrantsto look into Trafigura, the investigation were related to the alleged bribes paid at least $31 million America dollars that the employee of Brazilian petroleum company has received from 2011 to 2014. Trafigura is one of the risk-takercompanies and at the same time they useloopholes, middlemen, third party’s and intermediaries;bribes paid through outthird parties. Most of the western countries formed the Bribery Act, the act states that the holding companies is liable for failing to prevent an entity from bribing on their behalf. Hiring the agents, fixers and any kind of intermediaries is a habit for risk-taking companies.
Most of the large companies still use and enter all kind of intermediaries’ arrangements such as counselors, lobbyists, solicitors’, advisors, brokers, suppliers, and subcontractors. Continuously, the head executives could easily be able to make an inappropriate payment through to intermediary. Not only that, although they have many options at their disposal.
In conclusion, Somaliland is not a recognized country, and it is a vulnerable for perpetrators such as those who do not have good reputations.
The fuel sector has health hazards such as respiratory diseases. Trafigura is not only working the fuel sector, it is also involved with toxic dumping in the Ivory Coast, therefore, we, the Somaliland citizens are worried about Somaliland’s health, environmental sustainability, and government officialsusing public office for private gain. Somaliland’s government must provide the full information of this company and must share information to media and other institutions.
The government allows the civic participation to express their opinion and their standpoint of their views of this company. Let them probe the activities of this company to private institutions or allow them to be the watchdog committee that observes the company’s movements.
By Osman Awad