The share price of Tipco Asphalt Public Company Limited (TASCO) closed lower on Friday for its third consecutive day in plummeting after the report of implication with Venezuela in money laundering.
TASCO closed 1.09% lower at ฿18.10/share on August 20, 2021, while being on a losing streak for the third day since the news broke out. The company recorded a decline of 6.2% in three days.
The news, published by AP News on Tuesday local time in the U.S. or Wednesday morning in Thailand, stated that TASCO is implicated for money laundering in a criminal complaint against a U.S. businessman, Jorge Nobrega, for violating U.S. sanctions on Venezuela.
The report continued to say that Jorge Nobrega, a businessman who runs Miami-based company, Achabal Technologies, was reportedly arrested at Miami’s international airport last Sunday for a criminal complaint in selling a suppressant foam to insulate fuel tanks on Venezuela’s military aircraft, which is a violation of U.S. sanctions for doing business with the country. The report said that Nobrega was paid by TASCO for his work.
However, in the complaint against Nobrega, TASCO is not named as a defendant, but an investigator for the Department of Homeland Security, citing AP’s report, identified TASCO as the third-party money launderer that the complaint says “collaborated” with PDVSA to move money on behalf of Venezuela’s government.
There is no indication that TASCO knew what services Nobrega’s Achabal Technologies was providing Venezuela even as it acted as a financial intermediary, which allowed the company to evade compliance with the U.S. sanctions.
On Thursday morning in Thailand, TASCO published a clarification letter through the Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET) and reiterated that the company was not named as a defendant in the court filing.
Moreover, the company’s transaction with PDVSA, a state-owned enterprise of Venezuela’s government, alluded to in the court filing and in related news stories were the subject of discussions between the company and the US State Department in August 2020. At the request of the U.S. in those exchanges, TASCO voluntarily put an end to these transactions by November 2020. All of this was reported in the company’s notification dated September 2020 and the notification dated November 2020 to the Stock Exchange of Thailand.