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APM Terminals in court again over Guatemala corruption case

A high profile bribery scandal in Guatemala that involved a former president of the Central American nation and damaged Maersk’s whiter than white image it tries to portray has forced the firm to take legal action.

In 2015, APM Terminals, Maersk’s port unit, spent around $1bn buying out Grup Maritim TCB – a Spanish terminal operator with interests around the world. It was then embroiled in an embarrassing corruption case in Guatemala over a port concession dating back to 2012 for which it eventually agreed to pay a fine of $43m.

Now APM Terminals has decided to take Ángel Pérez Maura, the man behind TCB, to court.

“We have initiated arbitration against the sellers related to damages incurred in the context of the Guatemala case as a result of misrepresentation by the majority sellers,” a spokesperson for APM Terminals told Splash.

APM Terminals container facility in Puerto Quetzal, Guatemala, is scheduled to start operations today. The controversial port is scheduled to handle Maersk’s 2,546 teu vessel Sealand Balboa later today.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.
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