Olam Group Denies Claims Of Multibillion-dollar Forex Fraud In Nigeria
Olam Group denies claims of multibillion-dollar forex fraud in Nigeria, as its shares plummet. The Olam Group, based in Singapore, has vehemently refuted the charges made in recent media reports concerning the participation of its Nigerian business and affiliated companies in a foreign exchange fraud scheme worth billions of dollars.
Olam International is a significant food and agribusiness corporation with operations in 60 countries and a global client base of over 20,900. Farming, origination, processing, and distribution are all part of its value chain. Olam is a global provider of cocoa beans and goods, coffee, cotton, and rice.
According to reports from Nigerian news agencies, including The Daily Nigerian and Prime Business Africa, Olam and its affiliated businesses are currently under investigation by Nigeria's secret police for allegedly engaging in a foreign exchange scam of over US$50 billion.
The reports stated that it has been alleged that Olam purportedly sent a sum of US$34 billion to the Central Bank of Nigeria via its special purpose entities, under the guise of capital importation at official exchange rates. Subsequently, it is claimed that Olam engaged in round-tripping activities by selling foreign exchange to other enterprises at prices prevalent in the parallel market.
The investigation is now being conducted on the entities Olam Nigeria, Olam International, and their affiliated companies, which are part of the same corporate group.
COPYRIGHT_TNB: Published on https://www.thenigerianblogger.com/olam-group-denies-claims-of-multibillion-dollar-forex-fraud/ by Abeo Bunkechukwu on 2023-09-12T08:30:19.018Z
In a submission to the Singapore exchange on Monday, the food and agri-business corporation expressed its disagreement with the unfounded and provocative assertions put out in two web pieces published the previous week.
In its official response, Olam unequivocally refutes these charges and asserts that the mentioned figures of US$50 billion and US$34 billion are grossly false and intentionally deceptive.
In spite of contesting the accusations, the board of Olam has instructed its audit committee to conduct a thorough examination of the issue. The firm emphasized its adherence to appropriate business protocols and its collaboration with pertinent regulatory bodies.
The study was issued subsequent to the group's total revenue in Nigeria between fiscal years 2015 and 2022, which reached a sum of US$14 billion. Additionally, the group's capital import value in the nation amounted to a mere US$2.4 billion.
The statement underscored the absence of any false directors inside Olam Nigeria, contrary to the assertion made by Daily Nigerian in its story. Additionally, it refuted the existence of a network of shell businesses as reported by Prime Business Africa.
The group said:
All Olam Nigeria subsidiaries are formed for a proper corporate purpose and are audited by EY Global’s member firm in Nigeria.- Olam Group
Furthermore, Olam further elucidated that the aforementioned reports made reference to the 2021 incident in Ivory Coast, wherein the group was instructed to bear the cost of repatriating foreign currency.
However, it was inaccurately stated that the compensation amount was US$262.7 million, whereas the correct figure is 2.925 billion CFA francs or US$5.3 million.
Regarding the references made in the articles to rule violations brought up by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission of the United States and Ice Futures US, Olam has said that it has resolved these issues without acknowledging or refuting the alleged infractions.
Olam Group will continue to monitor and strengthen its compliance process for its trading activities.- Olam Group
The organization further stated that it has duly addressed many valid information requests made by the appropriate Nigerian authorities, and it remains committed to collaborating with any genuine demands for information or assistance put forth by these authorities. The news was reported by the publications on September 8th and September 9th.
On Monday morning, the group implemented a trading halt in anticipation of its forthcoming statement and then recommenced trading at 2 p.m. on the same day. The shares of Olam Group had a significant decline, marking the largest drop in over five years.
This decline followed the company's denial of charges regarding a fraudulent scheme amounting to billions of dollars in Nigeria. In response to these allegations, Olam Group has initiated a comprehensive assessment of the situation.
The shares of the group had a significant decline of around 10%, marking the worst intraday decrease since October 2018.
However, the losses were somewhat recovered later on. The commercial operations of Olam Group in Nigeria encompass many sectors, including animal protein, rice cultivation, and cereals, therefore generating an annual income over US$3 billion. At 4.30pm, the shares of Olam Group had a decline of SG$0.11 or 8.59%, resulting in a valuation of SG$1.17.