On August 20, 2006, toxic waste was illegally exported from Europe by multinational trading company Trafigura and left in Akoudo, a dump site in the middle of a poor residential area of Abidjan, and in 18 other sites in the city. Tens of thousands of people suffered severe health effects and 15 to 17 people died. The waste was produced from unrefined gasoline by a process called caustic washing, a process banned by most countries. Ivorians staged protests and demonstrations in the city following the dumping.
In Ivory Coast, the company paid the Ivorian government USD 195 million in settlement and became immune from prosecution.
In 2010/11 a Dutch court found Trafigura guilty of the illegal export of waste from the Netherlands to Africa and for concealing the harmful nature of the waste for life and health. However, an out of court settlement requiring Trafigura to pay total 1.3 million euros ($1.7 million) in fines concluded the legal process in the Netherlands.
No studies have been undertaken to assess the long-term health impacts of the waste and the exact composition of the waste has not been made public. Thousands of Ivorians are yet to receive compensation.