Financial police drop OW Bunker price manipulation case

The Danish financial crime unit has decided to end its investigation into whether Danish marine fuel firm OW Bunker informed the market about the developments that eventually led to its bankruptcy.
Photo: Ritzau Scanpix/Kasper Palsnov
Photo: Ritzau Scanpix/Kasper Palsnov

The Danish State Prosecutor for Serious Economic and International Crime (SØIK) has shelved its investigation into price manipulation at shipping fuel company OW Bunker, SØIK tells AMWatch's sister site ShippingWatch.

Following the bankruptcy in November 2014, several of the company's investors criticized the company for not reporting the situation early enough.

Police were investigating the case of price manipulation until late last year when the case was dropped.

Deputy District Attorney Niels Vejlby Hansen explained the investigation in the summer of 2017:

"It sounds a little suspicious, but it's about not explaining sufficiently or quickly enough to the market how a firm's circumstances actually are. Then one risks people buying at a price which does not really reflect the value. This is a problem that can constitute grounds for legal action. It's something that we're investigating and so I have no further comment on that part. The parent company's executive team would be held responsible if there were a case," he said.

However, this does not mean no investigations remain in the wake of the OW Bunker collapse.

SØIK still has the criminal case going on regarding the former CEO of OW Bunker's subsidiary in Singapore, Lars Møller. He is the only one to be personally accused in the whole debacle, and was sentenced to one and a half years in prison in the case regarding an uncontrolled credit to a trading partner in Singapore.

Since then, both Møller and SØIK have decided to appeal the verdict. With the appeal, Møller hopes to achieve a complete acquittal, while SØIK is pursuing a higher sentence than the original one.

English Edit: Ida Jacobsen

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