Netherlands-based Rabobank is claiming about €150 million in damages from the Mexican government in a fraud case dating back to 2014, Het Financieele Dagblad reported Sept. 4.
Mexico had seized nine offshore vessels financed by Rabobank in a fraud investigation against the offshore services provider Oceanografia SA de CV six years ago. However, documents and conversations with those involved in the case have proven there were no grounds for the seizure of the ships, according to the report.
Rabobank had managed to get the vessels back, but their value had fallen sharply due to a lack of maintenance, and the lender managed to recover only a small part of the €220 million of outstanding loans related to the ships.
Bert Bruning, director of Atradius Dutch State Business NV, which had insured the Rabobank ships, has estimated there was a residual debt of about €140 million to €160 million and that most of that damage was caused by the seizure of the vessels. Atradius has compensated Rabobank for damages and is therefore involved in the arbitration case, Het Financieele Dagblad reported.