"Dutch Prosecutors: Trafigura Knew of Toxic Cargo"

"AMSTERDAM — Dutch prosecutors accused Trafigura AG of putting profits ahead of safety at the start of the company's criminal trial Tuesday, saying the oil trader hid hazardous waste in a ship that docked in Amsterdam in 2006 and then exported it illegally.

The waste was later dumped in Ivory Coast in what became a major environmental scandal.

Toxic waste sickened thousands in the African country in August 2006, though Trafigura insists the waste from its ship, the Probo Koala, could not have caused serious illness.

The company, based in Lucerne, Switzerland, has denied any wrongdoing. But it paid euro157 million ($191 million) to Ivory Coast to help clean up the waste and another euro40 million ($50 million) to victims in a British settlement this year."

Toby Sterling reports for the Associated Press June 1, 2010.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010