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Dan-Bunkering, Bunker Holding and CEO guilty of Syria sanctions violations; fined USD 5.17 million in total

Dan-Bunkering was fined USD 4.56 million; Bunker Holding received a USD 610,000 penalty while its CEO Keld R Demant faces a conditional prison sentence of four months in prison, according to court judgement.




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Disclaimer: An online translation service was used in the production of the current editorial piece which is based from the Court of Odense’s judgement.

The Court in Odense on Tuesday (14 December) found Dan-Bunkering, Bunker Holding and its CEO guilty of sanctions violations where the parties negligently supplied a total of approximately 172,000 metric tonnes (mt) of jet fuel for use in Syria, according to the judgement seen by Manifold Times.

The violations specifically relate to eight trades of jet fuel that took place in the period between the period of February to May 2017.

Dan-Bunkering was found to had sold jet fuel to two Russian companies which were general agents for the Russian navy and conducted a total of 33 trades with deliveries to the eastern Mediterranean in the period between October 2015 to May 2017.

In all cases, the trades were concluded from Dan-Bunkering’s branch office in Kaliningrad, Russia.

A review of the trade documents, mails, unloading documents and AIS data proved the Russian companies, after receiving the jet fuel from Dan-Bunkering, had delivered the jet fuel in the Syrian port of Port Banias after which the jet fuel had been used by the Russian air force for military operations in Syria.

“The Court found that the deliveries objectively constituted infringements of EU sanctions,” stated the judgement.

Opinion of the judges at court

The majority of the judges found it was “overwhelmingly probable” that Dan-Bunkering must have realised the jet fuel would be used by the Russian military in Syria for all 33 trades, according to the judgement.

Further, since the trades were entered into by Russian employees at Dan-Bunkering’s branch office in Kaliningrad the staff must have been aware of the Russian intervention in Syria.

It was also emphasised the two Russian companies had not purchased jet fuel from Dan-Bunkering prior to October 2015; based on the amount of jet fuel delivered and on Dan-Bunkering’s knowledge that the two companies were general agents of the Russian fleet – the jet fuel should be used by the Russian military.

The minority at the court found that since one Russian company was sanctioned by the US authorities from September 2016, it was only after that date which Dan-Bunkering committed an intentional violation of EU sanctions.

The same group also agreed Dan-Bunkering negligently violated sanctions as the company should have realised the Russian companies supplied jet fuel for use in Syria which is in violation of EU sanctions.

Unanimously, the judges found Bunker Holding and Keld R. Demant to have contributed to a negligent violation of EU sanctions. Both should have stopped trading with the Russian company after the Danish Business Authority's inquiry to Dan-Bunkering in December 2016, and after internal investigations by the group.

Prosecution and defence’s recommendations to the judge

The prosecution demanded Dan-Bunkering, Bunker Holding and its CEO be sentenced in accordance with the indictment.

They argued Dan-Bunkering should be fined DKK 319 million (USD 48.54 million) corresponding to approximately half of the amount for which jet fuel had been sold.

Bunker Holding should be fined DKK 81 million (USD 12.32 million) while its CEO Keld R. Demant should be punished with imprisonment for two years, according to principles related to the eight trades of jet fuel.

Lawyers representing the defendants maintained their claims of acquittal and argued a possible fine to the companies was to be calculated on the basis of the companies’ profits from the trades which amounted to less than 3%.

Court’s judgement

By the court's judgment, Dan-Bunkering was fined DKK 30 million (USD 4.56 million), and Bunker Holding received a DKK 4 million (USD 610,000) fine.

Both fines are measured on the basis of the companies' profits from the trades; the fine for Dan-Bunkering’s intentional violation of the rules is measured at approximately double the profit, while the fine for Bunker Holding’s negligent infringement is measured so that it roughly corresponds to the profit of the last eight trades of jet fuel.

CEO Keld R. Demant has been sentenced to four months in prison, which has been made conditional.

The court also emphasised, amongst other things, that Keld R. Demant is only punished for negligent violation of the sanctions.

In addition, Dan-Bunkering has confiscated the dividends from the traders which have been calculated by the court to be approximately DKK 15.65 million (USD 2.38 million).

Editor’s note: The judgement from the Court in Odense written in Danish can be found here.

Note: Earlier Manifold Times coverage regarding Bunker Holding/Dan-Bunkering’s alleged breaches of EU sanctions can be found below:

Related: Dan-Bunkering trial: Defence lawyer pleads for full acquittal of clients in court
RelatedDan-Bunkering trial: Court denies request sending case to European Court of Justice
RelatedDan-Bunkering trial: Denmark also bombed Syria, confirms defence counsel
Related: Dan-Bunkering trial: Prosecutors question Bunker Holding CEO Keld Demant
Related: Dan-Bunkering trial: Prosecution examines revealing email to Group Directors
Related: Dan-Bunkering trial: Hearing resumes after accusation of impartiality
RelatedDan-Bunkering trial: Hearing temporarily suspended due to impartiality
Related: Prominent prosecutor to lead spectacular lawsuit against Dan-Bunkering
RelatedBunker Holding:  ‘No signs’ in alleged breach of EU sanctions post internal investigation
Related: Experts: Bunker Holding alleged jet fuel sale significant to outcome of Syrian War
Related: Bunker Holding ‘surprised’ at fuel sale charge; maintains ‘full confidence’ in Group CEO
Related: Danish prosecutor proposes jail sentence for Bunker Holding Group CEO over jet fuel sale
Related: Bunker Holding & Dan Bunkering allegedly charged over EU sanctions violations
Related: Dan Bunkering ‘surprised’ SØIK has pressed charges over alleged EU sanction violations
Related: Dan-Bunkering: Everything has been investigated – the case should be closed
Related: Name ban on parties involved with Dan-Bunkering Syrian jet fuel deal lifted
Related: Dan-Bunkering Middelfart office searched by commercial crimes police
Related: Firm linked to alleged Dan-Bunkering Syrian war activities under sanction
Related: Update: Dan-Bunkering Syria jet fuel supply ops allegedly longer than thought
Related: Dan-Bunkering faces preliminary charges by SOIK with violation of EU Syria sanctions
Related: Investigations on Dan-Bunkering over alleged Syrian jet fuel deal start
Related: Danske Bank casts doubts on Dan-Bunkering reason for Syria investigation
Related: Danske Bank reported Dan-Bunkering to police in EU sanctions case
Related: Bunker company acknowledges flawed statement in EU sanctions case
Related: Unioil Supply dragged into Dan-Bunkering sanctions allegations
Related: Dan-Bunkering has not violated EU’s sanctions against Syria, it insists
Related: Nordea highlights stance on compliance after Dan-Bunkering discovery
Related: Danish media alleges Dan-Bunkering jet fuel deliveries during Syria war


Photo credit: Sasun Bughdaryan on Unsplash
Published: 14 December, 2021

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Singapore retains titles as Best Global Seaport and Best Seaport in Asia

Port of Singapore has been named the “Best Global Seaport” for the third consecutive year and the “Best Seaport in Asia” for the 35th time at the 2023 AFLAS Awards.





Singapore retains titles as Best Global Seaport and Best Seaport in Asia

The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore on Friday (29 September) said the Port of Singapore has been named the “Best Global Seaport” for the third consecutive year and the “Best Seaport in Asia” for the 35th time at the 2023 Asian Freight, Logistics and Supply Chain (AFLAS) Awards.

These accolades recognise the contributions by the Port of Singapore serving as a key node in the global supply chain, and Singapore’s leadership in driving maritime decarbonisation and transformation.

The annual AFLAS Awards is organised by freight and logistics publication, Asia Cargo News, to honour leading service providers in the supply chain community for demonstrating leadership as well as consistency in service quality, innovation, customer relationship management and reliability. Winners were determined by votes cast by readers of the publication.

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Mr Chee Hong Tat, Acting Minister for Transport and Senior Minister of State for Finance, said: “Singapore is honoured to be named the Best Global Seaport and Best Seaport in Asia. These awards are the result of the shared effort and strong collaboration between the Government, industry, unions and workers. We will continue to grow our port as an efficient, sustainable, and trusted node in global supply chains.”

Mr Teo Eng Dih, Chief Executive of MPA, said: “These awards are testament to the partnership and collaboration between Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) with industry and international partners, the research and enterprise community, as well as unions. MPA remains committed to fostering an environment that encourages enterprise, innovation, and talent development.”

“We will continue to work with our partners to enhance Singapore’s connectivity, advance digitalisation efforts, and accelerate the decarbonisation of international shipping in line with the 2023 IMO strategy on reduction of GHG emissions from ships.”

Photo credit: Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore 
Published: 29 September, 2023

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Melvin Lum appointed as KPI OceanConnect Global Accounts Commercial Director in Singapore 

Lum will take on the position of Commercial Director from Thomas Lee who was recently promoted to Head of APAC in a management restructure within KPI OceanConnect.





Melvin Lum appointed as KPI OceanConnect Global Account Commercial Director in Singapore

Global marine energy solutions provider KPI OceanConnect on Thursday (28 September) announced the appointment of Melvin Lum as Commercial Director for its Global Accounts team in Singapore.

Lum will take on the position of Commercial Director from Thomas Lee who was recently promoted to Head of APAC in a management restructure within KPI OceanConnect. 

The Global Accounts team is an expert unit within KPI OceanConnect, specialised in providing long-term, tailored fuel strategy solutions to a portfolio of Key Accounts on a global scale. Dedicated regional teams located in London, Houston and Singapore work seamlessly across the world and around the clock to support their clients.

Lum joined KPI OceanConnect in 2021 as Senior Key Account manager and has made a significant contribution to the development of the team and optimisation of the daily operations of the unit in Singapore. Lum has vast experience across the supply chain and previously worked with TotalEnergies, Glencore and Global Energy Group prior to joining KPI OceanConnect.

Henrik Zederkof, Head of Global Accounts at KPI OceanConnect, said: "It is always a pleasure to witness the growth of our team members, and Melvin's progression is no exception. I have full confidence in Melvin's expertise, ability to lead the unit and dedication to his team. I look forward to seeing the progress of Melvin and his team, which will undoubtedly bring significant value to our numerous partners and the wider organisation.”

"Melvin will assume a pivotal role within the Global Accounts management team, leveraging his extensive experience in supply chain management and profound insight into emerging technologies. In his new role, Melvin will further enhance our team's skill set, aligning them with our ongoing objectives of supporting our partners in their green transition and digitalisation endeavours."

Melvin Lum, Commercial Director of KPI OceanConnect Global Accounts in Singapore, said: "I am very appreciative of the support and confidence from our management team as I take on this exciting new role. I am enthusiastic to work with the team as we continue to deliver an exceptional experience to our partners and stakeholders with dedication, innovation and passion."

Photo credit: KPI OceanConnect 
Published: 29 September, 2023

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TotalEnergies Marine Fuels renews ISCC EU certification for bio bunker fuel  

Firm’s operations teams in Singapore and Geneva successfully renewed its ISCC EU sustainability certification for the supply of biofuel bunkers, says Louise Tricoire, Vice President.





TotalEnergies Marine Fuels renews ISCC EU certification for bio bunker fuel

Louise Tricoire, Vice President of TotalEnergies Marine Fuels recently said the firm’s operations teams in Singapore and Geneva successfully renewed its International Sustainability and Carbon Certification (ISCC) EU sustainability certification for the supply of biofuel bunkers.

“This means that TotalEnergies Marine Fuels can continue sourcing and supplying marine biofuels in accordance with EU renewable energy regulations ensuring the highest sustainability standards,” she said in a social media. 

“It's the third year in a row that we have successfully renewed this certification, after a deep and comprehensive audit which showed zero non-conformity.”

She added marine biofuels have grown in demand among shipping companies that want to cut greenhouse gas emissions immediately. 

“TotalEnergies Marine Fuels offers marine biofuels commercially in Singapore and we are starting in Europe. This certification enables us to accompany our customers in their decarbonisation journey with the best standard solutions available today.”

Photo credit: TotalEnergies Marine Fuels
Published: 29 September, 2023

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