• ITVI.USA
    15,861.160
    -7.510
    0%
  • OTLT.USA
    2.793
    0.019
    0.7%
  • OTRI.USA
    21.460
    -0.010
    0%
  • OTVI.USA
    15,867.600
    -6.080
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  • TSTOPVRPM.ATLPHL
    2.950
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  • TSTOPVRPM.CHIATL
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  • TSTOPVRPM.DALLAX
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  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXDAL
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    6.3%
  • TSTOPVRPM.PHLCHI
    2.320
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  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXSEA
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  • WAIT.USA
    126.000
    0.000
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  • ITVI.USA
    15,861.160
    -7.510
    0%
  • OTLT.USA
    2.793
    0.019
    0.7%
  • OTRI.USA
    21.460
    -0.010
    0%
  • OTVI.USA
    15,867.600
    -6.080
    0%
  • TSTOPVRPM.ATLPHL
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    -0.570
    -16.2%
  • TSTOPVRPM.CHIATL
    3.610
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    22%
  • TSTOPVRPM.DALLAX
    1.370
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  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXDAL
    3.550
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    6.3%
  • TSTOPVRPM.PHLCHI
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  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXSEA
    4.110
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    6.5%
  • WAIT.USA
    126.000
    0.000
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American ShipperShippingTrade and Compliance

Report: Corruption case could cost APMT Puerto Quetzal concession

APM Terminals has been unwittingly entangled in a bribery scandal surrounding Guatemala’s former president Otto Perez Molina as a result of its purchase of Spanish port operator Grup TCB, according to a report from Danish news outlet Fagbladet 3F.

   APM Terminals could lose its port concession at Puerto Quetzal in Guatemala in the fallout of a major bribery scandal surrounding the actions of former president Otto Perez Molina, according to a report from Danish news outlet Fagbladet 3F.
   The port terminal operator arm of Danish shipping conglomerate A.P. Moller-Maersk Group has been unwittingly entangled in the corruption case as a result of its purchase of Spanish port operator Grup Maritim TCB.
   The acquisition, announced last September and completed in March, included facilities in eight ports with a combined 2 million TEUs in annual throughput. Also included in the deal was a 25-year concession for the operation of a terminal in the port of Quetzal, which was still under construction at the time.
   Since news of the bribery scandal broke, prosecutors have alleged that the head of the port paid at least $25 million to several officials, including the former president, who was responsible for awarding the concession to TCB back in 2012. Now the Central American country’s attorney general is asking the government to lift the concession, which has an estimated value of $1.7 billion.
   The company began construction of the Puerto Quetzal Container Terminal in September of 2014, and Phase One, a terminal with the capacity to handle 400,000 TEUs a year, was supposed to be completed by the end of 2015. Phase Two will reportedly raise the terminal’s annual container throughput capacity to 700,000 TEUs.
   The project, which APMT refers to Terminal de Contenedores Quetzal, ran into unanticipated delays, however, and is expected to open soon, according to the company’s website.
   The corruption investigation resulted in the April arrest of Juan Jose Suarez Meseguer, the manager of TCQ, who was subsequently removed from his position by APMT.
   APMT has confirmed it could be stripped of the concession despite the alleged bribery taking place before its acquisition of TCB.
   “We can confirm that the Guatemala Attorney General has filed a notification for nullification of the Usufruct agreement, which is the basis for allowing operations of the terminal,” an APMT spokesperson told maritime news outlet Splash 24/7.
   APMT says it is in discussions with the Guatemalan government, arguing that given the timing of the alleged misconduct it should be allowed to retain the concession at Puerto Quetzal.
   “Allegations of corruption are taken very seriously by Maersk Group, and we are cooperating fully with authorities in the investigation,” Thomas Boyd, head of communications at APM Terminals, told Fagbladet 3F. “We defend the same time our position in court since the alleged offense took place before APM Terminals took over the terminal and is not connected with us.”
   “We will show international companies that they cannot come here and do business through bribery,” State Prosecutor Maria Eugenia Villagran said of the proceedings.

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