Commodities trader Trafigura Group has denied that it or any of its employees knew that deals with businessman Prateek Gupta involved goods that were not nickel.

In February, Trafigura found that the containerised nickel it bought in 2022 was misrepresented through false documentation. Upon inspection of the containers, Trafigura found that some of the nickel it had ordered was missing and that other lower-value materials that it did not order had been included.

The company claimed it had been defrauded by entities connected to and controlled by Singapore -based metals trader Prateek Gupta, such as TMT Metals. At the time the company said: “The group recorded a $577m charge in the first half of 2023 for Trafigura Group, estimated to be the maximum loss exposure related to this fraud.”

A $625m global order was placed on Gupta and his companies, which are located in countries such as Britain, Singapore, Malaysia and Switzerland. His wife’s assets were frozen in May by a London judge.

In July, Gupta accepted that the cargoes did include materials other than nickel but claimed that employees of Trafigura had agreed to such a scenario. He went as far as saying that Trafigura “devised and proposed” the scheme in an effort to increase its trading volume.

Trafigura responded to Gupta by filing in a London court last week. Lawyers for the company said neither the employees named by Gupta “nor anyone else at or on behalf of Trafigura discussed, or agreed to enter into, the Alleged Arrangement. The Alleged Arrangement does not exist.”

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By GlobalData