Swiss commodity trader Trafigura's chief released on bail amid fraud probe

Jessica Morris
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The investigation was started in 2014 (Source: Getty)

The head of one of the world's largest oil and metals traders, Trafigura, was released on bail after eight months in prison this week, as a probe into alleged fraudulent trading activity continues.

Li Bo, who heads the company's operations in Beijing, has not been charged in the matter which relates to losses of $32m (£22m) in a gasoline trade finance deal by private Chinese trader Qingdao United Energy.

The investigation was initially launched after Qingdao filed a complaint to police over the trade in early August.

Li's arrest followed that of another Trafigura employee, Beijing-based oil product marketer Tian Meng, in 2014. Chinese authorities also froze two banks accounts held by the company in March.

Trafigura sells oil to China from West Africa, South America and more recently, Russia.

Since last year, it's also marketed crude oil to independent refineries, which have been allowed import rights, while maintaining its fuel oil business.

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