Businessman Prateek Gupta targeted by Trafigura bids to lift freeze

By Jonathan Browning

(Bloomberg) — Indian businessman Prateik Gupta, targeted by the Trafigura Group for its spectacular nickel fraud, has moved to lift the worldwide freeze order against him.

Gupta formally filed his appeal to court Friday seeking to lift the $625 million asset freeze against him, his spokesperson said, without providing further details of his defence.

Trafigura in February accused Gupta and his associated companies of “systematic fraud” with details that sent shockwaves through the metals industry. The trading house went to court after finding that the shipments of nickel it had bought from him did not, in fact, contain nickel. Trafigura says it expects to lose nearly $600 million.

Gupta had been preparing a “strong response” to Trafigura’s accusations since February, but the issue widened on Friday as Bloomberg reported lawsuits from the billionaire Reuben brothers who alleged the fraud involved not only thousands of tons of missing nickels, but also fake shipping documents.

First published: June 16, 2023 | 11:38 p.m ist