Bunker Holding Chief Legal Officer Raised Concerns Over Jet Fuel Trades

by Ship & Bunker News Team
Wednesday November 3, 2021

The chief legal officer at Bunker Holding raised concerns over its subsidiary Dan-Bunkering's jet fuel trades that have landed the company in court, according to emails shown during the case on Wednesday.

Finn Hansen, then the company's head lawyer and who has since moved on to another job, raised concerns with other staff by email over how Dan-Bunkering's jet fuel trades in the Eastern Mediterranean were different from its usual business, and said the risk for the firm was too high, Danish newspaper Fyens Stiftstidende reported on Wednesday, citing the emails shown during the court hearing.

The case against Dan-Bunkering, its parent firm Bunker Holding and CEO Keld Demand, being heard at a court in Odense, revolves around 33 jet fuel deals with Russian counterparties in 2015-2017 where the oil ultimately ended up in Syria in breach of EU sanctions.

The two companies and Demant deny the charges, and Bunker Holding has said its internal investigations have found no evidence of any employee having knowledge of sanctions breaches.

"We can not take that risk," the newspaper cited Hansen as saying about the jet fuel trades in several emails.

"It's part of the very profitable business that we do with the Russian fleet," one Dan-Bunkering trader said in a reply to one of Hansen's emails, according to the newspaper report.

"So why not earn extra $$." 

Another Bunker Holding lawyer is also reported to have raised legal issues with the trades after one of the buyers was added to a US sanctions list.

Dan-Bunkering CEO Claus Bulch Klausen characterised Hansen as someone who often worried about many of the trades the company was involved in.

Klausen confirmed that the Russian buyers of the jet fuel, Sovfracht and Maritime Assistance, were known as general agents of the Russian navy, but said the firm had not asked them what the jet fuel was to be used for.

Klausen is set to deliver further testimony on Thursday, followed by Bunker Holding CFO Michael Krabbe and CEO Keld Demant.