Trafigura came to public attention in 2006 when the then Opposition Jamaica Labour Party revealed that the firm, which traded oil for Jamaica on the international market, had donated $31 million to an account operated by Campbell, who at the time was also the PNP’s general secretary.
Trafigura Beheer said the money was part of a commercial agreement, while the PNP maintained that it was a donation to the party.
“They made the offer. They said that they know elections are imminent in Jamaica and they are intending to make a contribution,” Campbell told journalists at a news conference in October 2006 at the PNP headquarters.
The ensuing uproar from the transaction resulted in the resignation of Campbell as PNP general secretary and from the Cabinet. A few days later, PNP president and then prime minister Portia Simpson Miller ordered the money sent back.
Just over a year later, in November 2007, Prime Minister Bruce Golding told Parliament that the Dutch police believed Trafigura Beheer had bribed Jamaican public officials in 2006 and on November 20, 2007, the the JLP controlled Parliament passed a resolution giving the Dutch investigators permission to probe the donation to the PNP.
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