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Trafigura Fined $1.3 Million in Ivory Coast Waste Case

A Dutch court has fined oil trading company Trafigura $1.3 million for illegally dumping toxic waste in the Ivory Coast in 2006 and concealing how dangerous the waste was.

The judge also gave a five-year suspended prison sentence to the captain of the ship that transported the toxic waste to Ivory Coast, and fined a Trafigura employee for being in charge of the waste delivery.

Trafigura said it was disappointed by the ruling, and indicated it may appeal.

The waste was dumped in the Ivorian city of Abidjan. Tens of thousands of residents said the waste made them sick, and officials said 15 people died.

Trafigura has denied any wrongdoing and says the waste could not have caused serious illness.

Prosecutors said a Trafigura subcontractor tried to offload the waste at an Amsterdam water treatment facility, but decided not to when the treatment company demanded a higher price to account for the high level of toxicity.

Trafigura settled a class-action lawsuit last year in a bid to avoid prosecution in the case.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.