On 9 March, Stuff reported that Swiss-based commodities trader Mercuria Energy Group Ltd struck a deal last summer to buy US$36 million of copper from a Turkish supplier – but when the cargoes started arriving in China, all they held were painted rocks. About 6,000 tons of blister copper in more than 300 containers were switched with jagged paving stones, spray-painted to resemble the semi-refined metal. Turkish police have taken 13 people into custody in relation to the faux copper scheme. Mercuria, one of the 5-biggest independent oil traders in the world, is seeking redress in both Turkish courts and a UK arbitration case against the copper supplier.
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