As Trafigura’s appeal against one guilty verdict starts it is worth considering a small but very important aspect of the Probo Koala incident.
In December 2005 Naeem Ahmed, of Trafigura, wrote this email about the disposal of waste from the caustic washing of coker naphtha.
$250 for each and every kilo of waste.
$250000 for each and every 1000kg (approx 1 cubic meter) of waste.
The very same Naeem Ahmed who noted the very high cost of waste disposal said this to APS (the company to whom Trafigura intended to discharge the waste).
and he got this quote back from APS.
€6675 for 250 cubic meters approx. €27 for each and every cubic meter. At today’s exchange rate €27 = approx. $36
The APS quote was $36 / cubic meter but the cost they knew they would have to pay at the specialist company in Rotterdam was $250000 / cubic meter.
Clearly there must be a mistake!
Trafigura, being a company which operates responsibly, would realise there was a serious mistake and correct APS and ensure the waste was disposed of correctly.
“On July 23 last year, an Amsterdam court also found Trafigura guilty of hiding the cargo's real nature when it arrived in Amsterdam. Judges however acquitted the company of forgery.” [Courtesy of AFP]