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Port Security Conference

May 20, 2003

Stolt Nielsen facing another probe
Stolt Nielsen is facing an investigation, led by the U.S. attorney in New Haven, Connecticut, that is probing allegations that the company broke U.S. trade embargoes.

The story broke in today's Wall Street Journal. Citing a review of company records and legal documents, the WSJ reported that ships owned by Stolt or a joint venture had been used for trade with Cuba, Sudan and Iran despite a U.S. trade blacklist.

Reuters reports from Oslo that the company says it is "cooperating fully with U.S. investigators" into probes of what it has called payments of "incidental port expenses" linked to Sudan and Iran.

Stolt-Nielsen Finance Director Jan Christian Engelhardtsen reportedly told Reuters that the issues had been described in the group's annual report.

The annual report says Stolt paid $95,000 in March to settle a dispute over "incidental port expenses" in Sudan and was seeking a settlement with U.S. Treasury Department investigators in a similar case involving Iran.

"The company cannot give any assurance that it will be able to negotiate a settlement" over Iran, notes the report.

Stolt Nielsen is one of a number of chemical carriers that have been cooperating with U.S. and European antitrust investigations into allegations of price fixing in the chemical tanker market.

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