Glencore fined millions for paying bribes in Africa

Glencore fined millions for paying bribes in Africa
Credit: Belga

Swiss commodities giant Glencore has been fined £276 million - about €311 million - by a British court for corruption in Africa.

The conviction follows an investigation begun in 2019 by UK authorities that found that Glencore had paid $28 million in bribes through intermediaries to gain access to oil shipments in Nigeria, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea and South Sudan.

This practice started in 2011 and dragged on for years. Often Glencore handed out cash, which was flown to the sites concerned in huge amounts on private jets. The corruption was tolerated at the highest levels of the company.

Glencore pleaded guilty and acknowledged that the acts were “inexcusable”. The company says it has since taken measures to ban such practices.

Glencore has also already settled corruption charges with authorities in the United States and Brazil. In the US, the group had to pay more than $1 billion, including for manipulating prices on oil markets.

Investigations are still ongoing in the Netherlands and Switzerland.

Glencore has set aside $1.5 billion for the lawsuits, which is relatively little considering that it made $12 billion in profit in the first half of this year alone.

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