Friday, June 23, 2023

"Billionaire Reuben Brothers Sue Trafigura Over Nickel Fraud"

From Bloomberg via Insurance Journal, June 19:

Trafigura Group is being sued by the billionaire Reuben brothers, as the fallout of a massive nickel fraud reverberates through global metal markets and ensnares some of the industry’s best-known figures.

Legal filings seen by Bloomberg News shed new light on the case that shocked the market earlier this year, when Trafigura said it expected to lose nearly $600 million in what it called a “systematic fraud” perpetrated by Indian businessman Prateek Gupta.

In them, Hyphen Trading Ltd., the company owned by the Reuben brothers which is bringing the legal proceedings, alleges that the fraud didn’t just involve thousands of tons of missing nickel, but also counterfeit shipping documents — which ended up being used to obtain financing from leading commodity bank ICBC Standard Bank Plc. It describes how containers supposedly holding nickel were shipped back and forth around the world, apparently to avoid having to open them and reveal their true contents.

Moreover, Hyphen accuses a Singapore freight forwarding company of being involved in Gupta’s alleged fraud. It also raises questions about Trafigura’s own actions, saying that the trading house stonewalled its requests to inspect its cargoes....