Dutch Court Fines Firm in Ivory Coast Waste Dump
July 26, 2010
A Dutch court slapped a one-million-euro fine on a Swiss-based company whose chartered ship dumped waste alleged by Ivory Coast to have killed 17 people, reports the Associated Foreign Press. In the Amsterdam district court, the presiding judge Frans Bauduin found the company guilty of breaking European waste export laws. The court sentenced the captain of the Probo Koala ship, Sergiy Chertov, to a five-year suspended jail term, and fined 43-year-old Trafigura employee Naeem Ahmed, who coordinated the operation in the port of Amsterdam, 25,000 euros. The court found it had no jurisdiction to consider the charges against the city of Amsterdam, who administered the port, and imposed no sentence on waste treatment company Amsterdam Port Services (APS) or its former managing director Evert Uittenbosch. The company, which denies any link between the waste and casualties and has an independent experts'' report backing its stance, reached out of court settlements for 33 million euros and 152 million euros in Britain and Ivory Coast that exempted it from legal proceedings. But a United Nations report published last September found "strong" evidence blaming the waste for at least 15 deaths and several hospitalizations. Ivory Coast claims the dumping caused 17 deaths and thousands of cases of poisoning.