Singapore-based Olam Group (OLAG.SI) denied reports by the Nigerian media last week, alleging that its units in the African country were involved in a multi-billion-dollar foreign exchange fraud according to reports from Reuters.
“The company categorically denies the allegations in the Articles,” Olam said in a statement and said it has directed its audit committee to review the matter.
Forex fraud allegations against Olam
The Daily Nigerian and Prime Business Africa reported that the State Security Service (SSS) was investigating the company’s units, Olam Nigeria and Olam International, and their associate firms for a more than $50 billion foreign exchange fraud.
The reports alleged that since 2015, the company has engaged in a series of foreign exchange transactions involving round-tripping.
Through its Special Purpose Vehicles (SPVs), it recorded approximately $34 billion as capital importation with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) at official rates.
However, rather than channelling these funds into the Nigerian economy, reports suggest that the company engaged in forex round-tripping, selling the currency to various business entities, notably oil and gas marketers, as well as industries like Indorama and Fouani, at parallel market rates.
The commodities trader added that its unit Olam Nigeria has responded to requests for information by Nigerian authorities and will continue to cooperate.
Daily Nigerian also reports that Olam Group has a history of FX-related infractions which are not limited to Nigeria.
It noted that the company had been fined by the United States Commodity Futures Trading Commission, (CFTC) as far as 2015.
Also, the report noted that in 2021, Ivory Coast issued a directive for Olam International to remit 142 billion CFA francs (equivalent to $262.7 million) for the repatriation of foreign currency.
The administration of President Bola Tinubu had promised to carry out “house cleaning” on monetary policy and foreign exchange.
The former CBN Governor is currently under arrest and on trial for about 20-count charges relating to corruption.