The head of Amsterdam-based oil company Trafigura and other senior staff were aware that the ship Probo Koala was carrying toxic waste and that it was illegal to take the waste out of Europe, the Volkskrant reports on Thursday.
The paper says internal documents obtained by environmental organisation Greenpeace show company founder Claude Dauphin knew there was toxic waste on board the ship before it was taken to Ivory Coast.
Fifteen people were killed and thousands made ill after the waste was dumped at various locations around the port of Abdijan by a local cleaning firm.
The documents show that Dauphin was involved in coming up with ways to dispose of the waste while it was still on board the ship, the paper says. He has always denied knowing anything about the toxic waste until after it was dumped.
One internal document shows the company had already analysed the contents of the waste in 2005. The waste had been created while Probo Koala was used to process a shipment of nafta to reduce its sulphur content.
‘This method is banned in most countries because of the dangerous make-up of the waste. EU rules do not allow it to be exported,’ the paper quotes a memo to Dauphin as saying.
The company had tried to have the waste reprocessed in Amsterdam but took it away because of the cost. Last year, a court in Amsterdam said Dauphin should not face prosecution.
For the Guardian report on the cover up, click here
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