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Posts Tagged ‘Abidjan’

Trafigura Knew!

Posted by feww on September 17, 2009

Dumping Toxic Waste in Africa

Images of the Day: Trafigura knew of Probo Koala deadly cargo

Can you differentiate between Trafigura business activities and the mafia?

Go “Trafigura” it out!

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Estonia: The Probo Koala, branded a toxic crime scene by environmental activists who accuse Trafigura of intoxicating Africans with a poisonous waste shipment.  Photograph: Christian Aslund/Greenpeace.

[In 1996,] 400 tonnes of toxic waste from the cargo vessel Probo Koala, chartered to British-based oil trading company Trafigura, were offloaded at the West African port of Abidjan, the capital of the Ivory Coast. The waste was loaded on to trucks and dumped around the city. Over the following weeks, thousands of residents found themselves choking and coughing, some vomiting. At least 10 are said to have died and many still bare the scars. Now 30,000 Ivorians are taking a class action at the high court in London asking for damages from Trafigura, who denied they were responsible for any deaths or injuries. —Guardian UK.

BBC Newsnight has uncovered evidence revealing that oil-trading company Trafigura knew that waste dumped in Ivory Coast in 2006 was hazardous.

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A Trafigura victim. Source of the Image

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A civil protection member of Ivory Coast points at a site polluted with toxic waste from the Probo Koala ship at the Akouedo district in Abidjan on September 19, 2006. In mid-August 2006 the Probo Koala ship unloaded in Abidjan more than 500 tonnes of a highly toxic mixture of oil residue and caustic soda used to rinse out the ship’s tanks. The trial of 12 people charged with involvement in the 2006 toxic waste pollution scandal in the Ivory Coast is set to go ahead on September 29, 2008 according to court documents. The toxic sludge, brought into Ivory Coast by Dutch-based multinational trading company Trafigura, killed 16 people and caused an estimated 95,000 people to seek medical attention. Photo: Getty Images, 1996. Caption: Daily Life. Image may be subject to copyright.

Trafigura, which had first denied liability, has now offered to pay damages to settle a class action brought on behalf of 31,000  injured claimants.

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