Former EWOS manager on trial for corruption

By Jane Byrne contact

- Last updated on GMT

© istock
© istock
A trial is underway in Norway concerning allegations a former top executive at fish feed player EWOS, now owned by Cargill Animal Nutrition, sought bribes in exchange for supply contracts with the company.

In January this year, the accused was indicted for allegedly taking NOK 2.7m (US$343K) in bribes from at least two suppliers, according to an article on SalmonBusiness.

“The payments (and or) perks were improper because of his position and role at the start of contracts on behalf of EWOS; because the payments (and or) perks contravened internal (company) guidelines; they were kept secret from the employer(s) and because the goal was to secure for the companies of Indictee No. 2 and No. 3, in which they both had shares, contract conditions or more favorable contract terms with EWOS,”​ the indictment read.

The ex EWOS manager could face case up to 10 years in jail. The trial is expected to last around two months.

Two others were also indicted in January for having reportedly offered up bribes of NOK 2m and over NOK 1m, according to Norway’s white-collar crimes unit, Økokrim.

The corruption referred to in the indictment covers a period of in excess of ten years, said Elisabeth Harbo-Lervik, senior attorney, Økokrim, in a release.

The accused supposedly received cash, cover of boat storage costs and airline tickets for himself and his spouse.

In September 2016, a person pleaded guilty in a related case and received 11 months in jail for corruption. That person had been accused of transferring US$89K to the former EWOS executive now on in the dock on corruption changes, reported SalmonBusiness.

Internal probe at Cargill 

Cargill Inc bought EWOS, one of the world’s leading fish feed producers, for US$1.49bn in August 2015. The business is now operated under the Cargill Aqua Nutrition division.

Hanne Dankertsen, communications manager, at Cargill Animal Nutrition, told FeedNavigator:

"Cargill is not party to this case. We have been subjected to an unfaithful employee who is now charged in a corruption case. Corruption or unethical behavior is, of course, completely unacceptable. The former employee left Cargill in 2015 after our own internal investigation revealed breaches of our internal guidelines. We now see that the police think he has also broken the law. Since the case is ongoing and Cargill may have suffered damages, we will monitor how it evolves and asses all our options." 

Related topics: Regulation, Cargill, Europe

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