CSAV Executive Charged with Price-Fixing

Maryland prosecutors have indicted a former executive of Chilean shipping company Compañia Sudamericana de Vapores S.A. (CSAV) for his participation in a conspiracy to restrain trade in international RORO cargo shipping to and from the Port of Baltimore, the US Department of Justice said on Tuesday.

Namely, Mauricio Javier Garrido Garcia (Garrido) is charged with allocating customers and routes, rigging bids and fixing prices for international ocean shipments of RORO cargo, including cars, trucks and construction and agriculture equipment. Garrido is accused of participating in the conspiracy from as early as 2000 until at least September 2012.

Garrido is the eighth executive to be charged in the investigation to date.

Four individuals have already pleaded guilty and been sentenced to prison and three others have been indicted but remain fugitives from justice.  CSAV and two other companies have also pleaded guilty and paid over USD 136 million in criminal fines.

“This long-running conspiracy restrained trade in one of the main channels of international commerce – the oceans,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Renata B. Hesse, head of the Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division.

“Today’s indictment further demonstrates the division’s commitment to holding accountable ocean-shipping executives who participated in this scheme.”

Today’s charge is the result of an ongoing federal antitrust investigation into price fixing, bid rigging and other anticompetitive conduct in the international RORO transportation, which is being conducted by the Antitrust Division’s Washington Criminal I Section and the FBI’s Baltimore Division, with assistance from the U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

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