Cocoa regulators who have remained loyal to Ivory Coast incumbent Laurent Gbagbo issued a statement accusing a number of foreign exporters of being involved in the smuggling of beans out of the country.

The list of exporters, named by the CGFCC industry regulator and seen by Reuters on Wednesday, includes a number of European firms as well as local traders, most of whom are Lebanese.

In the statement, the CGFCC warned that all businesses involved in smuggling would be punished, without giving details. But officials said the Gbagbo camp had threatened to strip them of their export licenses.