Dutch oil traders accused of crude swindle

UK Telegraph
By James Quinn, Wall Street Correspondent

Last Updated: 1:35am BST 25/07/2008

And there you have it!!! As declared in the past few months on this website. A Cabal of International Price Manipulators have been driving up the price of oil This is just the tip of the iceberg The investigation will find a number of wealthy, wealthy Muslims and Muslim organizations with terrorist links involved in these international scheme to break the back of the west in an Oil Jihad. This Dutch Group may well be a shell organization created or financed to do such. The efforts of uncovering and untangling this scheme may take years and the Muslim Nations involved will no doubt seek to keep their names above board despite that their hands are filthy as they have done in the past.

 

America's leading energy regulator has accused a Dutch oil trading firm and three of its employees - including British-born Christopher Dowson - of manipulating the crude oil market for their own ends.

In the first lawsuit of its kind since the agency began investigating alleged manipulation of the market in December 2007, the US Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) has filed civil actions against Dutch-based Optiver Holdings and the three men, accusing them of making $1m in profit in just 11 days.

The CFTC alleges that the defendants were involved in a scheme known as "banging the close" where a sizeable position is taken in the run-up to a market's close, which is then swiftly followed by offsetting that position before the close of trading in an attempt to manipulate prices.

The three employees named are Mr Dawson, the head trader at Optiver, chief executive Bastiaan van Kempen and head of trading Randal Meijer.

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All three worked largely out of the Chicago office. Charges have also been brought against Optive Holding's two operating subsidiaries in Chicago and Amsterdam.

The suit, filed in the US District Court in Manhattan yesterday, accuses the companies and the trio of manipulation and attempted manipulation of three different oil contracts - including the New York Mercantile Exchange's (NYMEX) main light sweet crude oil contract - during March 2007.

The suit accuses the defendants of engaging in 19 separate instances of attempted manipulation over 11 days in March 2007. It goes on to claim that on at least five of those days, the defendants were successful in creating artificial prices, sending prices lower on three occasions and higher on two.

In an email seized by investigators, Mr Dowson, 29, is claimed to have said he wanted to "bully the market" - which he and the other defendants allegedly did by trading in large volumes of oil futures contracts.

The filing also accuses Optiver and Mr van Kempen of attempting to conceal the scheme and making false statements about it following a request from NYMEX.

The Commission alleges Mr Meijer said the scheme "was built on the idea that we control the VWAP" - the volume weighted average price which is used to calculate the closing price for futures contracts.

CFTC acting chairman Walter Lukken said: "These charges go to the heart of the CFTC's core mission of detecting and rooting out illegal manipulation of the markets. Although this alleged energy trading scheme lasted only several days in March 2007, even short-term distortions of prices will not be tolerated by the Commission."

The CFTC worked with the UK's Financial Services Authority and NYMEX on the investigation.

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