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Gunvor Group Fined for Bribing Ecuadorian Officials


Gunvor Group Subsidiary to Pay $661 Million in Fines for Bribing Ecuadorian Officials

Gunvor S.A., a subsidiary of commodities trader Gunvor Group, has been ordered to pay approximately $661 million in fines and forfeiture after pleading guilty to bribing officials in Ecuador. The U.S. Justice Department announced the charges, revealing that Gunvor S.A. conspired to bribe officials of Ecuador’s state-owned oil company to secure lucrative contracts for purchasing oil products.

Guilty Plea and Sentencing

Gunvor admitted guilt to the charge and received sentencing from a federal judge in Brooklyn. The judgment requires Gunvor to pay $374 million in fines and $287 million in forfeiture of unlawfully obtained gains.

Acknowledgement of Mistakes

Gunvor, headquartered in Switzerland, acknowledged the wrongdoing and took responsibility for the actions of former agents and employees involved in the bribery scheme. The company emphasized that these individuals had already ceased working with Gunvor before the Justice Department initiated its investigation. Gunvor’s cooperation throughout the investigation was stated as a factor that contributed to a reduced fine.

Statement from Chairman Torbjörn Törnqvist

In a statement, Gunvor Group Chairman Torbjörn Törnqvist expressed regret for the company’s past errors. He mentioned, “As a company, Gunvor made mistakes at the time, for which we are sorry and that we have worked diligently to fix.”

Settlement Terms

Details of Bribery Scheme

According to the government, Gunvor and accomplices funneled over $97 million through intermediaries to bribe various Ecuadorian officials between 2012 and 2020. The illicit funds were often channeled through U.S. banks via shell companies based in Panama and the British Virgin Islands. Gunvor amassed profits exceeding $384 million from the acquired business through these corrupt means.

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