(Bloomberg) -- A British metals trader controlled by Prateek Gupta, the alleged fraudster pursued by Trafigura Group over its missing nickel, was wound up by a creditor claiming some £2.4 million ($3 million) in unpaid debts.
A London court ordered the shuttering of Gupta’s TMT Metals Holdings Ltd., a company at the heart of the alleged scam that Trafigura says has cost the trading giant $600 million. Trafigura in February accused Gupta of perpetrating a massive fraud against it, saying that it had paid more than $500 million for nickel, only to discover that the cargoes actually contained worthless rubble.
TMT Metals Holdings Ltd. is at the top of a chain of companies controlled by Gupta that was hit by a freezing order earlier this year. It was wound up following a request by an FX broker that deposited the cash with TMT in September 2022. A year later, TMT had yet to repay the sum, according to a court filing.
A recovery agent for the firm, Cambridge Mercantile Corp., said in the court petition she believed TMT was “unable to meet its liabilities.”
A spokesman for Gupta didn’t comment. A representative at Cambridge Mercantile Corp.’s parent company couldn’t immediately comment.
The clash between Gupta and Trafigura took another turn this week after Gupta published a series of messages, which he said showed that Trafigura was aware that the cargoes of “nickel” it was buying from him in fact contained other goods.
On one occasion in January 2022, a Trafigura employee instructed one of Gupta’s executives to “please maintain a minimum of credibility,” saying that a sailing time of 95 days to transit goods from Taiwan to China was hard to accept.
Trafigura called the allegations “mudslinging” and has said it doesn’t believe that any of its employees were complicit in the alleged nickel fraud, though the company has acknowledged shortcomings in its processes.
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