(Adds company statement)
AMSTERDAM Nov 16 Commodity trader Trafigura
will pay a total 1.3 million euros ($1.7 million) in
fines for illegally exporting toxic waste to Ivory Coast in an
out-of-court settlement in the Netherlands, Dutch prosecutors
said on Friday.
The Dutch-incorporated firm was convicted in 2010 but had
appealed against a 1 million euro fine for illegally exporting
the waste to the West African country, where the material was
dumped in the open. Residents said it made them ill.
Prosecutors had also appealed against the fine, upheld by
another Dutch court in 2011, saying it should have been higher.
The out-of-court settlement ends all appeals.
"This brings the matter to an end in a manner which makes it
clear that violations of international rules on dangerous waste
will not be tolerated," Dutch prosecutors said in a statement.
Continuing the trial might have taken years, they said.
Trafigura chartered the ship Probo Koala to take hundreds of
tons of waste to Ivory Coast's main city, Abidjan, after
learning that it would have to pay clean-up costs if it was
disposed of in the Netherlands. After the material was dumped,
thousands of residents complained of illnesses, and the
government of Ivory Coast said 16 people died.
The settlement obliges Trafigura to pay a 1 million euro
fine. The company must also pay Dutch authorities a further
300,000 euros in compensation - the sum it earned by dumping the
The Dutch authorities agreed to stop further action against
Trafigura's chairman, Claude Dauphin, who was in charge when the
illegal exports took place, in exchange for a 67,000 euro fine
to be paid by Trafigura, the company said.
"Trafigura Beheer BV welcomes the end to these matters in
the Netherlands. There is little doubt that mistakes were made
and everyone involved would have wanted to see things handled
differently," Trafigura said in a statement.
"The company deeply regrets the impact the Probo Koala
incident had - both real and perceived."
Trafigura agreed in 2007 to pay a $198 million settlement to
Ivory Coast's government in exchange for being exempted from
future legal proceedings there, but the company denied
responsibility for the dumping or any wrongdoing.
(Reporting by Ivana Sekularac; editing by Matthew Tostevin)