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Oil Trading in UK – All you need to know

There is something strange happening at Il Fatto Quotidiano. Over the last few weeks a series of wildly inaccurate stories have been published offering incredible detail about the movement of oil cargoes and other transactions. The stories concern a UK registered company Napag Trading, the Italian multinational giant Eni and a cast of supporting characters from intelligence agencies to chemists. The real target of the articles is a lawyer called Amara who is testifying against Eni in a large corruption scandal concerned oil and gas contracts in the Congo and Nigeria. The bystanders being crucified in the press are Napag and its CEO Francesco Mazzagatti.

There are two major problems with these stories. The first is that they are almost entirely false. Amara is not now and has never been a co-owner of Napag. In these kinds of details and in general they are made up. Second, they are not appearing by accident. Someone is behind their appearance.

There are a number of possibilities.

Perhaps the journalists are following a story and piecing it together with care and attention. But there are so many errors that could easily be checked this seems unlikely. Moreover, it is not that big a story in the first place. A cargo of oil was thought to be from Iran because someone in Eni told the press it was but the chemical tests by Eni proved that it was not from Iran. The cargo was returned. Money was paid back. Three major articles in three weeks are not really needed for a story like this.

So someone is telling this journalist what to think about. Or paying them to publish these stories. Maybe it is the prosecutors in Milan who want to see what response they get as they build a case. Perhaps it is someone in Eni who wants to distract attention from the problems of the Congo and Nigeria bribery scandal that is being investigated by the same prosecutor’s office. Sources close to the case suggest it is something else. His name is Pino Petricone. He is an oil trader with a colourful and complicated past. He has a record of illegal oil trading, including with sanctioned states like Venezuelan. It was Pino Petricone who was the real partner in crime of Amara but he does not want the attention. He will do anything to divert the gaze of the prosecutors from his case and from his involvement. So he has lined Napag Trading up as the target for these attacks. While everyone is looking in their direction, no one is looking closely enough at him.

This article does not necessarily reflect the opinions of the editors or management of EconoTimes.

By Sheena Jordan
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