1. Factual background
In the Probo Koala incident, more recently also known as the Trafigura case, toxic and dangerous waste products belonging to Trafigura –one of the world’s leading oil trading companies– were shipped from Amsterdam to Abidjan (Ivory Coast), where in August 2006 they were improperly disposed of at several sites around the city without any further treatment. A causal link between the exposure to the extremely toxic products dumped and the loss of human life in several cases and health injury in tens of thousands of cases seems obvious, but has never been established by a court.
Trafigura is a private company incorporated under the law of the Netherlands in 1993, which according to its corporate web page ‘is the world’s third largest independent oil trader and the second largest independent trader in the non-ferrous concentrates market’. Based in Amsterdam, Trafigura Beheer BV is the mother company of a holding constituted by several subsidiaries operating across the globe. The media have linked Trafigura to corruption scandals such as the Oil for Food Programme in Iraq, as well as to incidents that have had serious consequences for human health and the environment. The most outstanding one certainly was the so called Probo Koala incident.
Click here for the factsheet (8 pages): FS_045_Trafigura Case