Chinese police may soon formally charge an employee of Swiss trading giant Trafigura for fraudulently obtaining letters of credit (L/Cs) according to the Reuters news agency.

If Tian Meng is charged, it will be eleven months since it was revealed that Trafigura’s Beijing-based oil marketer was at the centre of an alleged oil trading fraud.

L/C and contract fraud

As well as being charged with fraudulently obtaining L/Cs, police will ask prosecutors to charge Tian with contract fraud according to Reuters.

Even if the police do charge the former oil marketer, it remains unclear whether a prosecution will follow.

Last chance

Prosecutors have rejected two previous police requests to press charges against Tian. Only three requests for prosecution may be lodged under Chinese law.

Tian was first detained in August 2014 after Chinese trader Qingdao United Energy filed a complaint alleging it had lost US$32 million in trade financing deals arranged without its knowledge between Tian and local trader Zhang Wei.