Olam Group denies reports of multi-billion dollar forex fraud in Nigeria, shares slump

(Reuters) -Singapore’s Olam Group on Monday denied reports by the Nigerian media last week, alleging that its units in the African country were involved in a multi-billion dollar foreign exchange fraud.

The Daily Nigerian and Prime Business Africa reported that Nigeria’s secret police was investigating the company’s units Olam Nigeria and Olam International and their associate firms for a more than $50 billion foreign exchange fraud.

“The company categorically denies the allegations in the Articles,” Olam said in a statement, and said it has directed its audit committee to review the matter.

Shares of the commodities trader were down 7.8% at S$1.180, as of 0627 GMT, after hitting a record low of S$1.150 earlier in the session.

The reports also alleged that some of the companies had “fictitious Nigerians as directors” and that authorities have “uncovered a chain of shell companies” linked to Olam, among others.

The publications reported the news on Sept.8 and Sept.9.

The company said that its unit Olam Nigeria has responded to requests for information by Nigerian authorities and will continue to cooperate.

(Reporting by Echha Jain in Bengaluru; Editing by Sonia Cheema)