Energy trader Gunvor Group says U.S. CFTC investigating Ecuador dealings

(Reuters) – Global energy trader Gunvor Group (GGL.UL) is under investigation by the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) in relation to its dealings in Ecuador, the company said in its first half 2021 results.

Earlier this year, former employee Raymond Kohut pleaded guilty to involvement in what the U.S. Department of Justice called a scheme to bribe Ecuadorean government officials to win business from state-controlled oil company Petroecuador. read more

Swiss prosecutors said in June they were also investigating Gunvor’s dealings in Ecuador. Gunvor is based in Geneva. read more

“Gunvor is not aware of the full scope of the DOJ investigation. Accordingly, there can be no assurances about the direction of the investigation,” the company said in the results.

“In connection with the existing DOJ investigation in relation to Ecuador, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission is also conducting an investigation.”

The CFTC, which regulates futures and options trading, did not immediately respond when contacted by phone and e-mail.

The firm, which said it continues to cooperate with the DOJ, said it has not recorded any provisions in its accounts in relation to the three probes.

Privately held Gunvor, one of the world’s biggest independent oil traders, does not typically publish detailed financial results. Its first half results were made public on Tuesday following a rare bond issue earlier this month.

Gunvor reported a net profit of $213 million for the period compared with $231 million in the first half of 2020. Revenues for the period were $48 billion up from $24 billion in 2020.

Its traded volumes rose by 28.6% to 118 million tonnes from 91 million tonnes with crude oil and natural gas being the key drivers. Natural gas accounted for 40% of the total volume, up 27% from 2020.

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